Mourinho hints at conspiracy after once again finishing with 10 men

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The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho risked the wrath of Uefa last night when he claimed that manager Pep Guardiola had never won a clean Champions League with Barcelona. He wrote off the second leg as mission impossible and said his side's 10-man defeat was another scandal suffered at the hands of a team who he claimed are favoured by the game's governing body.

Asked why he was sent off for protesting Pepe's second-half dismissal, Mourinho said: "I just applauded the referee's decisions, nothing more. If I say what I really think then my career is over today. I just leave one question that I hope to have answered one day – why?"

Mourinho's post-match rant bordered on slander, as he suggested that Uefa somehow ensure that Barcelona reach the final as often as possible. He said: "Every semi-final it's the same thing that happens. Barcelona are a fantastic football team but why three years ago, and why last year do I have to play them with 10 players? Why this year do I finish the game again with 10 men in a match that if we had stayed on the pitch for 10 hours it would have stayed 0-0."

Mourinho even used his victors' current sponsors in his post-match rant. "I don't know if it is to give publicity to Unicef or because they are a very nice but why does it always happen? I just want to leave that question and I hope that one day it will be answered. It seems they have to finish in the final. Only the referee can explain and he does not have to explain, he goes home without having to explain anything."

Asked if Madrid, trailing 2-0, were now out, Mourinho replied simply: "Yes. We will go there with pride and respect for football. It is a world that sometimes disgusts me to live in and earn a living from, but it is my world. We have to go there without Pepe, who didn't do anything, without [the suspended] Ramos who did nothing, without a coach who can't be on the bench. It is impossible. And if we score a goal and open up the tie a little, they will just kill it again. Tonight we have seen that we do not have any chance."

Trying to discredit Guardiola's Champions League successes, Mourinho added: "Josep Guardiola is a fantastic coach but I have won two Champions Leagues and he has won one.

"He only has one Champions League and it is one that would embarrass me. I would be ashamed to have won it with the scandal of Stamford Bridge and if he wins it this year it will be with the scandal of the Bernabeu.

"I hope that one day he can win a proper Champions League. Deep down, if they are good people, it cannot taste right for them. I hope one day Guardiola has the chance of winning a brilliant, clean championship with no scandal."

Guardiola refused to respond to his opposite number. "Nothing. No idea" were his replies to every question about Mourinho's comments. "We played well with 11 against 10. It is easier of course but we also played well against 11. We took the game to them and we got the result we deserved."

He also refused to write off Madrid ahead of Tuesday's second leg. He said: "A team with nine European Cups knows never to give in. I urge everyone at the club to understand that the tie has not been won."

With controversy clouding the aftermath as much as the prelude there was little time to comment on Messi's magical strike at the death to put Barça so close to a return to Wembley where they won their first European Cup.

Messi has now scored 52 goals and written his name into the club's history books. "We are just lucky to have him," said Guardiola. "At just 23 years of age he has become the third highest scorer in Barcelona's history, it is incredible. We had 12 players in the squad tonight who have come through together as kids. We are proud of that and of the way we came through the game to win."

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