Furious Madrid press turn on Mourinho after Barça disaster
Given the the feeling among the Madrid-based press that this time Real Madrid manager JosÃÂ© Mourinho would finally show BarÃÂ§a who was boss, itÃ¢ÂÂs no great surprise that their reaction to Wednesday's Bernabeu defeat has been relentlessly, unforgivingly brutal.
In particular, two papers who are normally like panting, tail-wagging, eager to please puppy dogs when it comes to Madridismo, have now become a snarling pack of wild beasts. While the feeling among the fans after MadridÃ¢ÂÂs Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg defeat was merely bored resignation at yet another set back - with only one victory for Madrid in the nine Mourinho vs Guardiola clashes - the vibe in Marca and AS is fury.
A crunching deadline from a late-night finish and a game from which Madrid will have taken little positive sees ThursdayÃ¢ÂÂs AS front page lamenting the defeat and another Ã¢ÂÂrepertoire of bad behaviour from Pepe.Ã¢ÂÂ TomÃÂ¡s Roncero leads the angry mob on the inside pages, asking Mourinho Ã¢ÂÂisnÃ¢ÂÂt it better to die on your feet and play with all your talent than be beaten before the game begins?Ã¢ÂÂ
The risk of playing a makeshift defence containing Hamit Altintop at right-back and Ricardo Carvalho - returning from a four month injury lay-off - in the centre of defence was a large one. It may have paid off had Madrid not conceded yet another header from a corner, with Carles Puyol equalising for BarÃÂ§a early in the second half to sap any confidence the Madrid players had gained from Cristiano Ronaldo's first half opener.
However, the gamble to play Pepe in midfield, in a throw-back to last yearÃ¢ÂÂs controversial contests, was a whopper - like asking Bruce Banner to travel on the tube at rush hour having missed a nightÃ¢ÂÂs sleep. It was a bet which failed spectacularly.
Marca branded PepeÃ¢ÂÂs pugilistic, polemical performance which peaked with what looked like an intentional stamp on Leo MessiÃ¢ÂÂs hand as Ã¢ÂÂdisgracefulÃ¢ÂÂ.
Ã¢ÂÂThe behaviour of Pepe was intolerable, violent with an excess or aggression and theatrics,Ã¢ÂÂ blasted ThursdayÃ¢ÂÂs editorial.
The front page bemoans the Ã¢ÂÂNever Ending StoryÃ¢ÂÂ with Barcelona over recent seasons, with the match report claiming Madrid had Ã¢ÂÂbetrayed their historyÃ¢ÂÂ with MourinhoÃ¢ÂÂs approach to a clash in a competition the Madrid coach had previously dismissed as the least important for his club this term.
Unsurprisingly, the reaction to Madrid, and in particular, Pepe, in the Catalan capital was outrage. Mundo Deportivo lead with the headline Ã¢ÂÂHeroes and VillainsÃ¢ÂÂ, with Sani Nolla branding Pepe a Ã¢ÂÂpublic dangerÃ¢ÂÂ.
Ã¢ÂÂThis doesnÃ¢ÂÂt belong in todayÃ¢ÂÂs football. It belongs to butchers form the Jurassic era,Ã¢ÂÂ continued the columnist.
Sport were a tad more aggressive, with a headline claiming BarÃÂ§a to be Ã¢ÂÂBleeping Bosses of the BernabÃÂ©u,Ã¢ÂÂ a reference to GuardiolaÃ¢ÂÂs bad-tempered comment about JosÃÂ© Mourinho last season. The paperÃ¢ÂÂs most culÃÂ© columnist, LluÃÂs MascarÃÂ³, wasnÃ¢ÂÂt going to let another victory in the Spanish capital go unmentioned, gleefully reporting on Ã¢ÂÂa sporting humiliation that the Bernabeu wonÃ¢ÂÂt forget for years. Madrid played in their own stadium with fear, like a small team. Trembling with terror.Ã¢ÂÂ
Normally the rival newspapers from the different sides of Spain disagree on the colour of the sky. But for once, they are all united in one concept - this was a very, very bad night for JosÃÂ© Mourinho, Pepe and Real Madrid.