Madrid’s mad moment, Pep’s breathing space & Stoke’s scary support

While Andre 'the new Mourinho' Villas-Boas didn’t exactly enjoy his night out in Naples with Chelsea, the original version had a fairly decent time of it in Russia, with his Real Madrid side drawing 1-1 with CSKA Moscow.

However, you’d have thought Madrid had been the ones left with a second leg mountain to climb, such was the The Special One’s maudlin mood after the game thanks to the Kremlins that still lurk in the squad’s tactical system.

Madrid were fairly comfortable and holding a 1-0 lead, until Swedish striker Pontus Wernbloom - a member of a Real Madrid fan club - popped up in second-half injury time to nab an equaliser. “I don’t know if it was a mistake or a lack of concentration,” commented a glum Mourinho on the set-piece strike that was conceded

“I’m not happy, but neither am I sad,” said the Madrid manager, a mood that sums up the feeling in the Madrid papers, who are sulking about the last gasp leveller, even though they remain confident .

Still, Tomás Roncero of AS was a happy camper due to yet another Cristiano Ronaldo goal. “He’s capable of playing with a broken ankle, sweating at minus ten, aiming with his weaker foot like it was a Colt 45,” swooned the columnist.

A rare midweek off for Barcelona has given the local media time to muse over Pep Guardiola’s reluctance to sign on for another year at the Camp Nou. The vibe in the Catalan capital is simultaneously insistent on the Barça boss making a decision one way or the other and giving Guardiola space, not wanting to seem too rude - like standing behind someone who is using a cashpoint to pay their phone bill.

“If we are talking more about the future of Pep than Messi’s four goals then we are all doing something wrong,” pointed out Josep María Casanovas in Sport, who is very much in the leave Pep in peace brigade.

Although Barça’s week is a quiet one, giving Cesc Fabregas chance to pootle off to present an award at the Brits, three other clubs are in action in the Europa League. LLL is already looking forward to heading to the Vicente Calderón on Thursday night and cowering under its seat to hide from the 2,000 or so Lazio supporters who will be in attendance at the game in the Spanish capital. Still, the blog is sure that if Diego Simeone is standing between the blog and a mass of scary Italian support then it will feel quite safe, especially since Atlético Madrid have a 3-1 advantage to defend.

Marca are fretting about the 4,000 Stoke ‘ultras’ and ‘hooligans’ - supporters to everyone else - who will be descending on Valencia for the second of their Europa League clash on a day that is due to see demonstrations from students in the city. No such concerns over hordes of away fans for Athletic Bilbao, who will be looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Basque Country.