Real Madrid vs. Real Valladolid  4 - 3


Karanka plays down Mourinho controversy

5 May 2013 02:17

Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka is adamant Jose Mourinho's comments about Iker Casillas were taken in the wrong context.

The criticism was derived from statements Mourinho made on Friday, when he declared he wished January signing Diego Lopez, who has since become first choice between the posts, had arrived earlier.

Speaking after Saturday's 4-3 win over Valladolid, where goals from Angel Di Maria, Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo (two) saw off the visitors in a gripping encounter, Karanka said Mourinho's comments were in no way meant to disrespect the goalkeeper.

"I haven't heard what (defender) Pepe said but, if he said that there has been a lack of respect towards Iker, at no moment have we disrespected anyone," the 39-year-old said after the match.

"It would be a lack of respect to 25 team-mates if you selected someone who was not in a condition to play. The lack of respect would have been to select a player who wasn't right, instead of another.

"It is not that Mourinho regrets it (not signing Diego Lopez earlier), but his signing was requested and the club did not accept it.

"It is said that the coach has so much power, but it can't be so if a player is requested and the club don't bring him in."

Mourinho had already been jeered - while Casillas was cheered - before the match as the line-ups were being announced, but Karanka moved yet again to quell the controversy.

"You have to respect the jeers for the coach, as I said after what happened in Dortmund. For the last three years, we have done our work, which people can like more or less. I respect them," he said.

"The reason we didn't come out into the technical zone is because we believed there wasn't anything worth saying. What there was to say, we discussed in the dressing room."

Real's victory over Valladolid means Barcelona will not be able to lift the Liga title on Sunday, even if they beat Real Betis.


La Liga Wrap: Real Madrid delay Barcelona´s title party

5 May 2013 00:01

Real Madrid delayed Barcelona’s title party for another week after a narrow 4-3 victory over Real Valladolid on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho’s side fell behind to an early strike from Oscar Gonzalez but goals from Angel di Maria, Kaka and two from Cristiano Ronaldo gave Madrid a comfortable lead.

Valladolid substitute Lluis Sastre netted a stunning volley with three minutes remaining but the hosts held on for three points, meaning Barca will be unable to clinch the title against Real Betis on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Valencia improved their chances of a top-four finish with a convincing 4-0 victory against nine-man Osasuna at the Mestalla.

Roberto Soldado opened the scoring and Ricardo Costa headed home Tino Costa's free-kick shortly before half-time.

Things went from bad to worse for Osasuna, however, as Alejandro Arribas was sent off and Ever Banega turned in the resultant free-kick.

David Timor was also dismissed for the visitors after a second bookable offence 15 minutes from time before Jonas slotted home an injury-time penalty after Nano handled in the area.

Malaga missed the chance to draw level on points with fifth-placed Valencia as they lost 1-0 to strugglers Granada.

Odion Ighalo scored the only goal of the game in the 28th minute, finishing past Willy Caballero after getting on the end of Yacine Brahimi's cross.

Deportivo La Coruna managed to remain outside of the relegation zone with a 0-0 draw at home to third-placed Atletico Madrid.

Atletico defender Miranda fired wide from close range in the first half, before Gabi hit the crossbar with a powerful strike seven minutes from time.

The visitors had the ball in the net in the 88th minute after Radamel Falcao headed home from close range, but his effort was ruled out for offside.


La Liga Preview: Real Madrid v Real Valladolid

3 May 2013 15:40

Real Madrid will look to bounce back from their Champions League exit in midweek with when they take on Real Valladolid on Saturday.

Madrid bowed out of the UEFA Champions League against Borussia Dortmund and, with Barcelona all but certain to win La Liga, their only remaining chance of silverware is the Copa del Rey.

Iker Casillas has spoken recently about the need for his teammates to be in good form when they face Atletico Madrid in the final and Jose Mourinho’s men will look to take all three points against a Valladolid side who have won just once in their last eight games.

On the other hand, Madrid have won their last seven games at Santiago Bernabeu but will be without a number of key players.

Sergio Ramos could miss out with a hamstring problem picked up against Dortmund in midweek and Cristiano Ronaldo is also a doubt.

Alvaro Arbeloa, Marcelo and Raul Albiol will also miss out on the tie while Valladolid have a fully fit squad to choose from as they look to get their first win over Madrid since May 2000.

Valladolid are all but safe in La Liga, six places and ten points above Celta Vigo who occupy the last relegation place, and come into the game after a 1-1 draw with fellow mid-table outfit Sevilla.

Boss Miroslav Dukic is likely to name a similar side to the one that took to the field at the Estadio Nuevo José Zorrilla last time out.


Mourinho coy on Real future

1 May 2013 00:44

Jose Mourinho has added to speculation surrounding his Real Madrid future by refusing to guarantee he will remain with the club next season.

A 2-0 win against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semi-final return fixture on Tuesday was not enough for Real to overturn a 4-1 deficit from the first leg.

When asked if he would still be with Madrid next season, Mourinho, who has been consistently linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu, told ITV: "Maybe not. I want to be where people love me to be."

He later added in a press conference: "I have a contract, and more than the contract - because in football, contracts get broken all the time. It is the respect I have for the club [Real Madrid] and the respect I have for the president.

"That's why I want to play the (Copa Del Rey) final, I want to finish the season, I want to try and win the final, I want to try and finish second and at the end of the season I want to sit with Florentino Perez, my president and my friend, and decide the best for me.

"I'm loved by a media that treats me in a fair way, criticising me when I have [to be] and giving me credit when I deserve it. I know I am loved by some clubs, especially one and in Spain the situation is a bit different because some people hate me."

The former Inter coach also lamented his side's first-leg performance but felt the team could still have progressed despite that result.

He added: "My mentality and culture is to not be satisfied if you don't win the competition, not at all. But we know that it is a difficult competition, you don't win just because you want to win, but rather when things fall into place for you.

"We haven't done it yet. In the first season it didn't work because we were impeded from doing so, in the second year we lost on penalties and in the third year because of the horrible match we played in Dortmund.

"We started strongly with high intensity, pressing the ball and attacking. We started really well. But the sooner you get the first goal, the easier it is to comeback into the tie.

"We wasted a lot of important chances on goal, and then in the second half we risked everything. We risked it all against a team that is faster than us, with faster players and people who can move all over the pitch.

"I think that any person who has worked for Real Madrid even for one day thinks it was worth it.

"Because anyone who has worked here even for one day can say they worked in the best and important club in the world. And I'm not just talking about me but for everyone here. I'm not saying that I'm staying or going, only that being at this club is worth it."

Mourinho will now turn his attention to this weekend's meeting with Valladolid as his side look to secure second position in La Liga.

La Liga table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +75 100
2 38 +61 85
3 38 +34 76
4 38 +21 66
5 38 +13 65
6 38 +3 57
7 38 +1 56
8 38 -16 53
9 38 +4 50
10 38 -14 47
11 38 -17 46
12 38 -21 45
13 38 -9 44
14 38 -9 43
15 38 -17 42
16 38 -17 39
17 38 -15 37
18 38 -29 36
19 38 -23 35
20 38 -25 34
18+ GambleAware