Real Madrid vs. Tottenham Hotspur  4 - 0

Article

Redknapp´s torrid night in Spain

6 April 2011 06:04

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has rued the series of events that led to his side's forgettable 4-0 loss to Real Madrid on Tuesday.

It was a torrid evening in Madrid for the Spurs in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final with Real, who had to contend with the late withdrawal of winger Aaron Lennon and the sending off of striker Peter Crouch early in the first half.

"We lost Aaron Lennon a minute before kick-off. As we were walking to the pitch he didn't feel very well and he said he had no energy," Redknapp said.

"I had to make a change as we were leaving the dressing room. Then we went a goal down and had Crouchy sent off. "

"In the first half I thought we did ever so well, we had a couple of good chances. But in the end, it's difficult to come here with 11 men, never mind play with 10 men for almost 80 minutes."

Redknapp lamented the sending off, as well as the injury problems that beset the side.

"I haven't seen it. (Crouch) is the most inoffensive footballer you've ever seen. He's not one for making rash challenges. I don't know if he has lunged in for the second one, but it has cost us dearly," he said.

"It's just what we didn't need, to have 10 men here against a team like this. We then ended up losing our right-back (Vedran Corluka to injury) and Gareth (Bale) gets cramp. Is he fit, isn't he fit? It was difficult."

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho conceded it was always going to be tough for Redknapp's men after Crouch's dismissal, describing the task ahead of 10-man Tottenham as 'mission impossible'.

"Eleven against 10 at Champions League level - it's always mission impossible," the Portuguese said.

"I played Barcelona against Chelsea with 10, impossible; I played with Inter against Barcelona with 10 men - impossible. Arsenal played with 10 men against Barcelona a few weeks ago. It’s impossible."

"It's just a question of the team with 11 keeping concentration, keeping a high tempo, not letting their opponents breathe, not letting their opponents have the ball and we did that in the second half, not in the first half.'

Despite the convincing scoreline, Mourinho is refusing to claim victory just yet. He insisted the fighting qualities of English sides meant the tie was far from over.

"Not yet (the match is not over). You know that I know English football well, I know English mentality. I know White Hart Lane," he said.

"It is not over. For you (English) it is not over. In other cultures I would say yes but in England they have belief until the last minute so it is not over."

Article

´So difficult´ after red card, says Dawson

6 April 2011 00:42

Tottenham captain Michael Dawson admits Peter Crouch's red card made life hard for his team in their demoralizing 4-0 loss to Real Madrid.

The Spurs striker was sent off for a second bookable offence after just 15 minutes of the quarter-final first-leg on Tuesday, with Tottenham already a goal down at the Bernabeu.

Emmanuel Adebayor completed his brace early in the second half before goals from Angel di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo all but ended the tie.

Dawson said Crouch's early exit made Tottenham's task a hard one.

"We go away disappointed. We've got to pick ourselves up because we've got to put in a performance next week," he told Sky Sports.

"After going down to 10 men early on it was so difficult."

Spurs appeared to have settled defensively for most of the first half, but Real Madrid took control in the second period.

Dawson acknowledged the superlative strikes from di Maria and Ronaldo.

"We defended well after giving the early goal away, we got blocks in," Dawson said.

"To give another goal away was disappointing and then they scored two top-class goals."

"The White Hart Lane faithful will be there next Wednesday and we've got to go out and give it our all."

Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso said the tie was not over, despite his side's massive advantage.

"(It's) not even close (to over)," he said.

"We have seen so many great comebacks. Hopefully this won't be the case, but we have to be ready."

Article

No pressure on van der Vaart

5 April 2011 11:41

Tottenham midfielder Rafael van der Vaart insisted he has nothing to prove when Spurs visit Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The former Real striker secured a transfer to White Hart Lane prior to the current campaign after falling down the pecking order at the Bernabeu.

Despite being given a chance to prove his Spanish doubters wrong in Tuesday's quarter-final first leg, van der Vaart said he holds no ill-feeling towards his former club.

"I had a great time here. You can see that Madrid is a fantastic club and I'm really proud that I played here," van der Vaart said.

"For me it is something special because eight months ago I left Madrid for London and for the first time I'm here now again and I'm really excited. It's a big game, not just for me but for everybody."

"I just want to play a good game and to be important for my team."

"It's not like I have bad feelings about Real and I want to prove something, they know what kind of player I am."

"I'm a Tottenham player now and I want to win and to play a good game."

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has led the English club on a surprisingly successful European campaign, so far culminating in their 1-0 aggregate win over Italian giants AC Milan in the round-of-16.

Van der Vaart admitted he did not expect Tottenham to make it so far in the Champions League, and believes being free of the pressure to win - a burden carried by the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona and Inter Milan - can only help the club.

"We have done fantastic, I'm really surprised but we are in the quarter-final and against the biggest team in the world so we have nothing to lose," the Netherlands international said.

"The last few games we didn't play well, but when you play against Madrid it is something special."

"I think we need a goal (at the Bernabeu) to have a good chance to go through to the next round."

"We want to score, we want to attack and my feeling says that we have a good chance."

Article

Draw would suit Mourinho

4 April 2011 21:15

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho admits he would settle for a draw in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final at home to Tottenham.

Karim Benzema will definitely be missing from the team that welcomes Spurs to the Bernabeu on Tuesday, while Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo and Angel di Maria are all under injury clouds despite being named in Real's 19-man squad.

The Spanish giants suffered a surprise 1-0 loss to Sporting Gijon in the La Liga on the weekend, Mourinho's first loss as home manager in nine years.

And Mourinho said a draw would not necessarily be a bad result for his team against Tottenham.

"It has nothing to do with the absences. It (0-0) is never a bad result, especially if you don't suffer a goal," he said.

"But even 1-1, that is not a bad result. A draw at home is never a bad result in the Champions League."

Mourinho said he wanted his team to maintain focus on the task and not begin thinking about how to claw back the eight-point deficit to Barcelona in the league.

"It's a game many want to play in and not everyone can. It's been several years since Real Madrid have played in the quarter-finals of the Champions League," he said.

"It's a game in the most important club competition in the world and there's no lack of motivation."

"It's a match that is too nice and too important to think about other things. I give the match a 10 (out of 10) for importance."

Mourinho also took the chance to cool speculation he was looking to purchase star Tottenham's winger Gareth Bale.

"I was one of the first to say he will be an amazing player. I was saying that when he was not known in European football, just in England, so I know the great player he is," Mourinho said.

"He is still young and there is a big space for him to improve so he will be a really top, top, top player. I have no doubt about that."

"I think for the amount of money involved, it is not easy to buy and we have players for that position."

Mourinho also paid tribute to his opposite number Harry Redknapp, who he described as his "friend".

"When I was in England he was not managing teams with a possibility of reaching these kind of ambitions," Mourinho said.

"Finally, after the good work he was doing, he went to Tottenham, who had the resources to build a good team. I'm very, very happy (for him)."

Article

Bale in doubt for Real clash

28 March 2011 13:02

Tottenham winger Gareth Bale could miss the first leg of his side's Champions League quarter-final with Real Madrid with a hamstring strain.

The 21-year-old sustained the injury on international duty with Wales and went for a scan on Monday to determine the severity of the problem.

The scans showed that Bale had suffered a grade one strain, which could keep him out for seven to 10 days, which will rule him out of Saturday's trip to Wigan and for Tuesday's visit to Madrid.

"Gareth has returned to Spurs Lodge and took part in controlled straight-line running so we could assess him," a Tottenham statement read.

"We sent him for an ultrasound scan examination this afternoon and that has confirmed the presence of a minor grade one hamstring strain."

"Gareth has reported no pain or stiffness after taking part in the running this morning and we shall continue to monitor him and see how he responds to his conditioning programme throughout the week."

A club versus country row occurred over the injury, with Wales claiming that he was injured before he arrived, a suggestion that was refuted by Tottenham's head of medical services, Wayne Diesel.

"He was passed fit to train by the FAW medical team and it was only after 40 minutes of his first training session on Tuesday, which included some high intensity runs, Gareth complained of tightness in his right hamstring and was pulled out of the remainder of the session as a precaution," Diesel said.

"We requested the player be sent immediately for a scan which subsequently revealed the hamstring strain that forced his withdrawal from the squad."

Bale has missed plenty of football in recent times, with a back injury sustained against Newcastle in January restricting his involvement in the second half of the season.

He made his first start in two months on March 19 when Tottenham were held to a 0-0 draw by West Ham United.

Article

Mourinho: Reverence for Spurs won´t hold Real back

23 March 2011 01:27

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has great respect for Tottenham but predicts they will not get past the Champions League quarter-finals.

Spurs and Real have been drawn together in one of the most exciting last-eight ties, with Harry Redknapp's Tottenham side already proving capable of toppling European giants Inter Milan and AC Milan.

But Mourinho, who admitted he was thrilled not be drawn against former clubs Inter and Chelsea in the quarter-finals, has warned Spurs their European campaign is about to come to an end.

Asked if Tottenham could go all the way in Europe, Mourinho told the BBC: "It's possible. They have a not very easy draw, but they have not had an easy draw from the beginning."

"But I want to believe, with all respect of course, that their campaign in the Champions League will finish in the second leg at White Hart Lane," he said.

"They have reason to be proud already, and I think they have a reason to fight us and to try to reach the semis, but I believe that we are a better team."

But the Portuguese manager concedes the Premier League outfit will be no pushovers given their European form of late.

"Any team is difficult and any team is a motivation for us," Mourinho said.

"Tottenham are a good team - they beat Inter, they beat Milan, they have ambitions, and they have a very good team and a good manager in Harry (Redknapp)."

"You can feel that it is a happy team, and happy teams are dangerous teams."

Real have been in dogged pursuit of La Liga rivals Barcelona ever since Mourinho's arrival at the Bernabeu, and the tactician concedes he may have to wait until next season to achieve greatness with Los Blancos.

"I keep thinking and saying that it is a very, very young team, so I think the second season will be the great season for this Real Madrid team," he said.

"But when you arrive in April and you are in three competitions and everything is open you cannot say: 'I'm not ready for it, I don't want it, I don't try it'."

"The team is coming up, some boys are adapting, people like (Mesut) Ozil, (Angel) Di Maria, arriving for the first team in Spanish football, they are much more comfortable at this moment."

"It looks like we are arriving strong in the last moment of the season when every match is a final, every defeat kills your chances and every victory feeds your ambition."

Tottenham visit the Bernabeu in a fortnight, with Real making the trip to White Hart Lane for the second leg on April 13.

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
5 4 +2 8
6 4 +3 7
7 4 +5 6
8 4 +2 6
9 4 +1 6

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
7 5 +1 8
8 5 +1 7
9 5 +1 7
10 5 +0 6
11 5 -1 6