Real Madrid have rediscovered self-belief says Jose Mourinho

 

Jose Mourinho felt Real Madrid had rediscovered their true selves after their dramatic Champions League win over Manchester City.

Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo struck in the last three minutes as the Spanish champions snatched a 3-2 victory from a pulsating Group D clash at the Bernabeu Stadium.

The spirit shown in that late fightback and the overall performance - the hosts having almost completely dominated the first hour - swept away the gloom of a dismal start in La Liga.

Mourinho certainly felt the display was more in keeping with the traditions of their revered, nine-times European champion, club.

Mourinho said: "I am no-one in the history of Real Madrid. I have only arrived recently, I have done very few things.

"But as a coach I am entitled to say - even though I wasn't born a Real Madrid fan like many million people - that Real Madrid fans want this.

"They want commitment, they want better quality of play - and me too. Last year we had it and this year we will have it.

"There was low self-esteem and doubts within the team - and the coach - but it was difficult to play better than we did.

"It was a great commitment from the team, from everyone, without exception."

Real have won just one and lost two of their opening four Primera Division matches, but they seemed determined from the outset to put that behind them.

That they failed to score in the first half had much to do with brilliant City goalkeeper Joe Hart, who saved twice from Ronaldo early on. He also denied Angel di Maria, who later shot wide, and Gonzalo Higuain while Sami Khedira volleyed over.

Marcelo twice narrowly missed the target early in the second half before Edin Dzeko changed the complexion of the game by scoring against the run of play after 68 minutes.

Marcelo quickly responded but Real needed to rouse themselves again after an Aleksandar Kolarov free-kick found its way in six minutes from time.

Even after Benzema equalised again, Hart produced another fine save from Ronaldo, but the former Manchester United star did have the final say.

Mourinho said: "I have been told there were some people leaving the stadium when the score was 2-1, but I felt people were very committed.

"I felt if we had lost, people would have left sad only because of the score. People understood the commitment.

"That is Real Madrid. You can lose but you have to fight until the end."

The result yet again got Real off to a winning start in the competition. The club have now won their first home match in Europe's elite tournament on 41 of the last 43 occasions, with the other two being draws.

Mourinho said: "It was a match that was important to win. We have three points and we play the last match at home.

"I think this is a major step to qualifying from a group that is very hard.

"I don't think we can do what we did last season by getting, almost easily, 18 points."

Real face Ajax in their next match and also play Borussia Dortmund in a group comprised of domestic champions.

Mourinho made a bold decision by leaving out defensive linchpin Sergio Ramos after last weekend's defeat at Sevilla, opting instead for Raphael Varane.

Mourinho told the press: "I would like to make clear - because some of you are experts in changing the truth - there are no problems with Sergio Ramos, no disciplinary issues whatsoever.

"This decision was purely on sports grounds."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker