Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has praised his side for managing to overcome city rivals Atletico Madrid in a professional manner, after they rallied from behind to earn a 4-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Adrian Lopez gave the visitors the lead after just 15 minutes but a double from Cristiano Ronaldo and further goals from Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain sealed the three points for Los Blancos against their nine-man opponents.
The 48-year-old says his team’s all-round display during the derby meeting could not be faulted and he was happy not to see his players react negatively towards Atletico’s rough challenges.
“My team wanted to win,” Mourinho told the club’s official website. “My men didn’t want to play an ugly or rough game. We wanted to win. We played to win and won, despite a little bruising.
“Luckily we had carbon fibre shin pads that work really well. We did our job. We played with discipline and only received one yellow card in the entire 90 minutes. We remained calm, concentrated and didn’t react to anything.”
Madrid were dealt with some good fortunate early on as Atleti goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was sent off for a challenge on Karim Benzema in the box, and Mourinho is of the opinion that the decision made by referee Mateu Lahoz was a correct call.
“The challenge on Benzema was worthy of a penalty and a red card. The goalkeeper had to decide either to tackle the player or concede an unstoppable goal,” he continued.
“I tell my keepers that I’d rather they concede a goal in these situations than give the opponent a penalty and therefore see a red card. Atletico’s goalkeeper decided to take a risk and the penalty was clear.”
Mourinho then concluded by emphasising the need for his side to continue with the status quo, as they go into next week’s clash with Sporting Gijon on the back of a 13-game winning run.
“My team always played well. It was ambitious and motivated. It was also emotionally controlled. We must now be patient and keep our vision. Our streak will eventually come to an end,” said the former Inter boss.
Real Madrid have opened up a six-point gap at the Primera Division summit, after Barcelona lost 1-0 to Getafe in Saturday’s late kick-off. (goal.com)