Mourinho stays away as Real go out but Ronaldo reignites 'cheats' row
Barcelona reach Champions League final with 1-1 draw however 'outraged' visitors have Higuain goal disallowed
Wednesday 04 May 2011
Jose Mourinho failed to turn up and Cristiano Ronaldo branded Barcelona cheats as Real Madrid went out of the Champions League cursing more perceived refereeing injustices.
Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso complained bitterly after the game as Barcelona drew 1-1 on the night to reach the final 3-1 on aggregate. The suspended Mourinho did his complaining from the team hotel, having chosen not even to sit in the stands at the Nou Camp.
Banned from the touchline, the Real coach was expected to take his place in the directors' box but there was a no-show from the Special One and his No 2, Aitor Karanka, claimed not to know where he had watched the match.
Mourinho had stayed in Barcelona's Rey Juan Carlos hotel to watch the second leg, leaving him free from Uefa officials trying to prevent him making contact with his coaching staff. He did the same against Bayern Munich in 2005 when banned as Chelsea coach.
"He was not on the bench and he has not been in the dressing room but he spoke to the players at the end of the match" Karanka said. Despite his absence, Mourinho still managed to communicate his fury at the manner of Real's exit. "He is really outraged about what he has seen in the last few games. Whenever we were 11 against 11 we matched them," Karanka added.
Those sentiments were echoed most vehemently by Ronaldo who said: "The name of this match for us was 'mission impossible four'. This is nothing new; we knew that if we scored one everything would change. [Gonzalo] Higuain scored and it was legal." The referee disagreed, however, and the Argentine's goal was ruled out for a foul by Ronaldo on Javier Mascherano in the build-up.
Asked about the former Liverpool player, Ronaldo said. "He [Mascherano] did not learn that at Liverpool. He learned all his cheating tricks at Barcelona. I have never seen him do that once at Liverpool. They ruled out a goal that could have changed the tie but we knew that would happen."
Replays appeared to show Ronaldo had been pushed by Gerard Pique and fell accidentally into Mascherano. Karanka said injustices had blighted both games. "Everyone saw what happened, so again the images speak for themselves" he said. When pushed on Mourinho's whereabouts, he said: "We talked before the game but he was not allowed to talk during the match. He congratulated everyone after the final whistle."
The Mourinho no-show came amid fears for his security. Real officials had wanted the coach in his own special box but Barcelona had only offered seats in the directors' box close to Barça fans.
Alonso also complained bitterly about the referee decisions: "Over the two legs the referees let us down. The goal should have stood tonight and the sending-off was wrong in the first leg. We feel let down by the officiating. Mourinho was right when he said after the first leg that it would be impossible to go through. That was the way it turned out."
The disallowed goal changed the game because Barcelona immediately went up the other end and with Andres Iniesta releasing Pedro they scored the goal that effectively put the game beyond Real.
Mourinho's side fought back and Marcelo equalised on the night but Barcelona held out to return to Wembley where they won their first European Cup in 1992. Pep Guardiola had promised Barcelona fans a place in the final at the end of last season and his side delivered.
He played down the relevance of Wembley. "There is no special excitement about it. There would be if it were the old one with all the nostalgia of the old stadium and having won it there," Guardiola said.
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