Jose Mourinho believes that Real Madrid’s naivety led to them losing so heavily against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League semi-final first leg last week, but has backed his side to turn the tie around at the Bernabeu this evening.
Real head into tonight’s match 4-1 down after they were outplayed by Jurgen Klopp’s side at the Westfalenstadion. Robert Lewandowski scored all of Dortmund’s goals and Mourinho felt his players did not mark him properly, and even complained that they did not commit fouls against the Polish striker.
“My team only does legal things and only can do legal things,” he said.
“We are so pure and so naive that Lewandowski scored four goals and we didn’t foul him even once. They (Dortmund) fouled Cristiano (Ronaldo) five times as soon as the game began.
“How can you play 90 minutes and not commit a foul on a player who scored four goals?”
Mourinho expressed reservations about the team’s chances of qualifying for the final, but still believes it is possible if they learn from their mistakes.
“I respect the history of this club but I never like to be in this situation, especially with a scoreline like that, when you start 1-4 behind. It’s difficult to mathematically justify that we have a chance,” he said.
“If we play like we did in Dortmund then it’s difficult to see us doing it, but if we play the same way we have played in many games and we have the spirit to win a great game we will do it.
“We are an excellent team and we have excellent players.We are going to play to try and go through. We have to go for it right until the end of the game. Football is football and everything is possible.”
Los Blancos beat rivals Atletico Madrid 2-1 at the weekend and Mourinho would like to see that performance replicated against Dortmund. “I want my team to play with mental strength,” he said. “I have read that Saturday’s game was boring but for me it was an example of how to be a compact, united and an aggressive team all working together for one objective.”
Defender Sergio Ramos declared that the team were motivated to make amends for their disappointing performance in Dortmund. “We can’t wait for the game to arrive,” he said.
“There is a desire in the dressing room to get revenge and stay in the competition.”
Ramos, who will be the team’s captain tonight, called on the fans in the Bernabeu to make an extra effort but emphasised that ultimately it is down to the players to reverse their fortunes. “You have to do your talking on the pitch,” he said. “Of course it is a boost to be able to play at home and have the fans roaring us on till the death. They can lift us, but that’ll be no use if we aren’t concentrated. It’s up to us.”
Mourinho will have Ronaldo at his disposal, after he fully recovered from the thigh injury which forced him to miss Saturday’s derby win.
And while the former Manchester United man will be an obvious selection, Mourinho hinted at some surprise inclusions. He added: “In Dortmund the team was obvious, except for the problem with (Angel) Di Maria. It was a no-brainer and everyone knew what it would be. Tomorrow the situation is different and we could play with certain people that we do not normally play with and with an unusual system.
“So I will not say anything. Cristiano Ronaldo is fine. Arbeloa and Marcelo are injured.”
Klopp, meanwhile, insists there is no danger Borussia Dortmund will suffer from stage fright. The Dortmund manager said his team’s performance against Bayern Munich in the 2012 German Cup final in Berlin, when Lewandowski scored a hat-trick, was proof they can perform under pressure on the biggest of stages.
“For us it’s the same situation as last year’s German Cup final,” a relaxed Klopp told reporters.
“We were the German champions and Bayern Munich wanted to beat us in this game, change their whole season.
“They gave their all and my team was pretty cool in this moment because the only way to reach your dream is to be brave. And that’s what we tried to do. It’s no problem to lose the game because it could happen. It’s only interesting what you invest in the game.
“They (my players) cannot fail as they will give their best.”