Jose Mourinho licks his wounds

After enjoying relatively calm seas during his first six months in charge of Real Madrid, Jose Mourinho now has to weather his first major storm with the Spanish giants following Monday night's 5-0 mauling by Barcelona.

To compound matters, the Portuguese, coach was yesterday handed a one-game Champions League dugout ban after Uefa found him guilty of improper conduct over the controversial red cards incurred by Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos against Ajax last week.

Heading into the first 'El Clasico' of the season against bitter rivals Barca at the Nou Camp, Mourinho boasted an unbeaten record as coach of Madrid, with 15 wins from 19 games in all competitions. That success left Madrid with a one-point lead over Barca at the top of the Primera Division and through to the last 16 of the Champions League and Copa del Rey. However, Madrid lost both first place in La Liga and their unbeaten record under Mourinho, and the question now is how the big-spending capital club will bounce back from being what the Spanish press described as 'humiliated', 'thrashed' and 'ridiculed' by their biggest rivals.

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Madrid had a day off yesterday, but they will not have long to lick their wounds as they face a busy December with five games in 18 days - including testing Primera Division clashes with Valencia and Sevilla. For Mourinho though, the sooner his side get back into action the better. Following Monday's thrashing - which was the heaviest defeat of his coaching career - the former Chelsea and Inter Milan coach said: "We must have character. You cannot cry when you concede four or five goals. You must be anxious to return to work and win the next match. I wish the Valencia match was tomorrow and not Saturday."

Mourinho has been keen to stress throughout his side's impressive start to the season that new-look Madrid will be a work in progress for the foreseeable future, and the match at the Nou Camp showed they are not the finished product yet. General director Jorge Valdano believes the heavy defeat could serve as a valuable lesson to Mourinho's developing side - which included five players aged 23 or under in Monday night's starting line-up and four players making their Clasico debuts. "Madrid is a team for men and situations like this test your manliness," Valdano said.

Barca's win puts them in pole position in the Primera Division standings and also, if recent history is anything to go by, on course to retain their title.In the last six seasons the winner of the first Clasico of the campaign has gone on to finish the season as champions.

However, Real midfielder Alonso said: "We did not expect this, but there is still a lot of the season left and nothing has finished."

As a result of his touchline ban, Mourinho will only miss the Champions League dead rubber against Auxerre this month.

The club were also fined €120,000 after the two players seemed to deliberately incur second bookings, therefore wiping out previous cautions ahead of the Champions League knockout stage.