Jose Mourinho believes Real Madrid’s naivety lead to them losing so heavily against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semi-final first leg last week, but has backed his side to turn the tie around at the Bernabeu.
Real head into tonight’s match 4-1 down after they were outplayed by Jurgen Klopp’s side at the Westfalenstadion.
Robert Lewandowski scored all of Dortmund’s goals and Mourinho felt his players did not mark him properly, and even complained they did not commit fouls against the Polish striker.
“My team only does legal things and only can do legal things,” he said.
“We are so pure and so naive that Lewandowski scored four goals and we didn’t foul him even once. They (Dortmund) fouled Cristiano (Ronaldo) five times as soon as the game began.
“How can you play 90 minutes and not commit a foul on a player who scored four goals?” he added.
Mourinho expressed reservations about the team’s chances of qualifying for the final, but still believes it is possible if they learn from their mistakes.
“I respect the history of this club but I never like to be in this situation, especially with a scoreline like that, when you start 1-4 behind. It’s difficult to mathematically justify that we have a chance,” he said.
“If we play like we did in Dortmund then it’s difficult to see us doing it, but if we play the same way we have played in many games and we have the spirit to win a great game we will do it.
“We are an excellent team and we have excellent players.We are going to play to try and go through. We have to go for it right until the end of the game. Football is football and everything is possible.”
Los Blancos beat rivals Atletico Madrid 2-1 at the weekend and Mourinho would like to see that performance replicated against Dortmund.
“I want my team to play with mental strength,” he said.
“I have read that Saturday’s game was boring but for me it was an example of how to be a compact, united and an aggressive team all working together for one objective,” he added.
Defender Sergio Ramos declared that the team were motivated to make amends for their disappointing performance in Dortmund.
“We can’t wait for the game to arrive,” he said. “There is a desire in the dressing room to get revenge and stay in the competition.”
Ramos, who will be the team’s captain tonight, called on the fans that will be in the Bernabeu to make an extra effort but emphasised that ultimately it is down to the players to reverse their fortunes.
“You have to do your talking on the pitch,” he said.
“Of course it is a boost to be able to play at home and have the fans roaring us on till the death. They can lift us, but that’ll be no use if we aren’t concentrated. It’s up to us,” he added.
Ronaldo to play
Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to full training ahead of tonight’s Champions League semi-final.
Ronaldo netted his side’s only goal in a 1-4 first leg defeat last week, but then missed this weekend’s 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid due to a leg injury.
Nevertheless, Ronaldo is not in danger of missing tonight’s return at the Santiago Bernabeu as he has resumed regular training action again after a brief layoff.