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Mourinho questions players' commitment as Real slumps

Jose Mourinho slammed his Real Madrid champions yesterday after a 1-0 loss at Sevilla condemned them to their worst La Liga start in a decade, claiming he wanted to replace seven players at half-time.

Piotr Trochowski’s second-minute goal gave Sevilla victory as Real’s haul of just four points from four games represented the Spanish giants’ most damaging opening since the 2001-02 season.


Floored: Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo during Saturday’s La Liga tie against Sevilla. Pic/AFP

Real are also eight points behind rivals Barcelona who won 4-1 at Getafe to retain their 100 percent record. “I changed only two players at half-time, I wanted to change seven of them,” said Mourinho.

“What worries me more than the eight-point difference between us and Barca is that I don’t have a team at the moment.”

Cristiano Ronaldo was the centre of attention in the build-up to the game after he had claimed he was unhappy in the Spanish capital.

But Mourinho insisted that the turmoil surrounding the Portuguese star was not a factor in Saturday’s defeat, his team’s second of the season.

“I don’t think it has affected us. We played a similar game at Getafe and against Granada,” he said. “It is more to do with a lack of concentration as a team. I think football is not the top priority for some in their heads at the moment, but I am the coach and so that is my fault.”

Real face another test of their resilience on Tuesday when English champions Manchester City visit the Bernabeu in their opening Champions League fixture of the season.

Barca eight clear of Real
Meanwhile, Barcelona made it four wins in four games with a 4-1 victory at Getafeto stay two points ahead of Malaga, who had earlier beaten Levante 3-1, at the top of La Liga.

Brazilian full-back Adriano grabbed an early lead before Lionel Messi left the bench to grab a double, to make it six league goals for him, and assure the Catalans an eight-point lead over Real Madrid.

Pablo Sarabia got a late consolation for the home side before the recovering David Villa also came off the bench to claim his second. Barca defender Carles Puyol, who suffered ligament damage to his left knee on Saturday, will miss up to six weeks of action, the Catalan giants confirmed. —  

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