Ã¢ÂÂWhat do I think? Madrid fans, they are blind! Blind I tell you!Ã¢ÂÂ was the damning verdict from the blogÃ¢ÂÂs AtlÃÂ©tico-supporting cafÃÂ© owner early on Wednesday morning. He was not best pleased at the prospect of Real Madrid winning their 10th European title, the dream of dreams of dreams in the Spanish capital.
While the grumpy old codger might have been a little biased in his opinion it was a verdict shared by JosÃÂ© Mourinho himself who, to his personal delight, bamboozled all by admitting NaniÃ¢ÂÂs red was only a yellow, that he was Ã¢ÂÂexpecting more from his sideÃ¢ÂÂ and that Ã¢ÂÂthe best team didnÃ¢ÂÂt go throughÃ¢ÂÂ.
In the UK such flattery has been interpreted as a blatant kiss-up to Manchester United, a club he fancies managing in the future. But La Liga Loca suspects itÃ¢ÂÂs just another way to annoy Florentino PÃÂ©rez and knock gloss off a hugely important result that prevented many a nervous breakdown in the Madridista world.
Yes, SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs victory against Barcelona should have been a draw after a late penalty claim was ignored by the referee. Yes, NaniÃ¢ÂÂs red card certainly changed a match where Madrid were labouring when handed possession by Manchester United. And yes, the Madrid press are quite happy to ignore all these decisions going in the clubÃ¢ÂÂs favour, something that will be overlooked completely at a later date if thereÃ¢ÂÂs an unfortunate call that has the papers calling conspiracy.
"So this means Fergie's on his way out, right?"
Over in the Catalan capital, the result has been predictably labelled a jammy Real Madrid progression to the quarter-finals. SportÃ¢ÂÂs Joan Batlle snooted that Ã¢ÂÂMadrid ended up suffering against 10, relying on a saving angel, Diego LÃÂ³pez, to avoid a historic humiliation.Ã¢ÂÂ Mundo Deportivo are equally as irked with J.M Artells furious that Ã¢ÂÂthe referee threw life jackets to a Madrid that was on the way to being shipwrecked.Ã¢ÂÂ
No such pinkie talk in the Spanish capital, though. MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs in-house referee may have confessed that the Nani red card was a mistake, but their front page declared that Madrid had Ã¢ÂÂthe heart of a championÃ¢ÂÂ. Even Cristiano Ronaldo admitted too many tingly feelings. Ã¢ÂÂFor the first time in my career the atmosphere got the better of me,Ã¢ÂÂ chirped the returning match winner.
AS are a little more cagey and merely declare what a great week itÃ¢ÂÂs been. Ã¢ÂÂThe clouds have parted and now the sun shines for Real Madrid, as today they donÃ¢ÂÂt need to be envious of anyone,Ã¢ÂÂ writes Alfredo RelaÃÂ±o.
TomÃÂ¡s Roncero injects a little bit more enthusiasm into the affair, declaring Ã¢ÂÂeternal glory for the best team in the historyÃ¢ÂÂ and that it was Madrid who lost out to the refereeÃ¢ÂÂs performance. Ã¢ÂÂHe allowed the 1-0 despite the offside from Van Persie and forgave the red and penalty for Rafael. To compare all this with the Nani sending-off feels and wrong and unfair to me.Ã¢ÂÂ
With a huge sigh of relief, LLL now turns its fairly narrow attention to ValenciaÃ¢ÂÂs attempts to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital.
Although Zlatan Ibrahimovic is missing through suspension, the SwedeÃ¢ÂÂs absence is countered by ValenciaÃ¢ÂÂs lack of first choice centre-back pairing, Ricardo Costa and Adil Rami.
Roberto Soldado says Los Che will be going into the match with Ã¢ÂÂnothing to loseÃ¢ÂÂ (apart from the tie, perhaps), while manager Ernesto Valverde is confident he has a plan that could see his side prevail. Ã¢ÂÂThe same strategy (as the Mestalla first leg), but not conceding goals.Ã¢ÂÂ Crazy, but it might just work.