Manchester City pitch in to help Real Madrid knock out Manchester United


Manchester City have granted Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid permission to use their Etihad Stadium as a base as he plots the downfall of their neighbours Manchester United in next week’s Champions League last-16 second leg.

Real confirmed yesterday that Mourinho and his players will leave Spain on Sunday as they begin their final preparations for Tuesday’s game. It had been understood Real would train in Madrid but they will now hold their final session at City’s home.

The Real coach usually does not like his team to train at the stadium of the game. In 2010 when his Internazionale side met Bayern Munich in the final held in Madrid he made sure his team trained at Real’s Valdebebas training ground and not at the Bernabeu.

That explains the decision not to use Old Trafford but not the change of training and travelling plans. Madrid’s Barajas Airport has been affected by industrial action since the start of the year but Mourinho’s change of heart seems to have as much to do with mind games as with airport strikes.

He feels the extra hours away from any clasico inquests – Real play Barcelona today in La Liga – and spent instead ensconced in a friendly quarter of enemy territory will only aid the concentration of his players as they play their biggest game of the season so far.

With former Barcelona directors Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano now in charge at City and their preference for United to stay in the competition in the hope it helps derail them in the league, it might have made for a difficult decision. But Real have been helped out by the club they knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages.

Mourinho will have his mind very much on Tuesday’s game when he names his team to face Barcelona. He could rest up to nine of the players likely to start against United. Brazilian midfielder Kaka will come into midfield, with Mesut Ozil definitely missing the game. 

When asked if Mourinho would be tempted to field a strong side despite the proximity of the United game so as to inflict more suffering on Barcelona after knocking them out of the Copa del Rey  in midweek, Kaka said: “We are not worried about leaving Barça in crisis; we are only concerned with winning.”

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine