Real Madrid vs. Valencia  1 - 1

Article

Mourinho unhappy with Real draw

20 August 2012 02:13

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho said he was disappointed with his side's performance in their 1-1 draw against Valencia on Sunday.

Real took an early lead through Gonzalo Higuain but soon sat back and allowed the visitors to equalise, with Jonas heading the ball home.

Valencia then had their goalkeeper Diego Alves to thank for a string of saves that ensured they left the Santiago Bernabeu with a point.

"I expected more from my team. Last season it was (Valencia goalkeeper Vicente) Guaita (who denied us) and this year it was Diego Alves. We did not have a great game but we did more than enough to win," Mourinho said in his post-match press conference.

"Alves was the best, he made some very good saves. If we had played better we would have created more chances.

"We always want to win. We are not content with draws. We could not lose this match because the opponent did not create chances.

Madrid travel to Camp Nou to face Barcelona in the Super Cup for the first Clasico of the season on Thursday, but Mourinho said he was more interested in the wellbeing of defender Pepe, who was injured during the game after colliding with Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

"I worry about Pepe, not the Super Cup. It is just a game and I want a player who is well," he said.

With Casillas attempting to clear a cross that led to Jonas' equalising, the duo came together and the impact left both men prone on the ground while the opposition celebrated.

Pepe was replaced by Raul Albiol at half-time and departed the Santiago Bernabeu for the hospital soon after.

"I remember nothing of the play. Only that I went for the ball, and nothing else. It is a pity to concede goals from set pieces," Casillas said to reporters after the game.

"They've taken him to hospital because head injuries can be serious."

Valencia coach Manuel Pellegrino, meanwhile, was pleased with the fight shown by his side away from home.

"It is always hard to play against a team like Real Madrid who are steeped in prestige," he said.

"At the end of the game it was very hot and physically very hard for the players. The game was disjointed and both teams had a lot of changes.

"We could have won, but equally we could have lost. It was a very intense game."

Article

Pereira ready for Ronaldo battle

19 August 2012 17:43

New Valencia signing Joao Pereira believes the best way to stop Portuguese countryman Cristiano Ronaldo is to sign him.

The Portugal international makes his debut for Valencia against Ronaldo's Real Madrid in La Liga on Sunday.

Pereira, who featured prominently at Euro 2012, insists he knows how to stop the former Manchester United winger, but maintains that Ronaldo remains one of the best in the world.

"Stop him? The best way to do that is to have 100 million euros and sign him for your own team," Pereira told AS.

"As I don't have (100 million euros), it will have to be done with a mixture of luck and concentration, lots of it, but we can do it. He is one of the best in the world and has a lot of things at his disposal.

"But it's true we have been training in one-on-one situations. In Portugal, he is considered the best in the world because, wherever he goes, he wins everything.

"Here in Spain, perhaps he has to win the Champions League with Real Madrid to earn the respect of everybody, but I hope he doesn't do it this year because we are also in the competition and have the right to compete for the title."

Article

Mourinho aims to keep Real at the top

19 August 2012 02:20

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho refused to talk about transfer targets ahead of their opening La Liga clash with Valencia on Sunday.

The reigning Spanish champions have been widely tipped to sign Tottenham and Croatia international midfielder Luka Modric but the deal has yet to be agreed.

And with Real looking to begin their La Liga defence on a winning note at the Bernabeu, Mourinho says he is solely focused on achieving that aim.

"The transfer market is open until the end of this month," the former Chelsea and Inter Milan coach said.

"I have given a list of players to purchase to the club, although everything is open at the moment.

"I am saying it's open both for coming here and for leaving the club. Both ways are possible, leaving and coming but today this is not important, the most important thing today is focusing on tomorrow's match.

"The squad that we have now assembled is very good."

Real were equally as competitive in the UEFA Champions League last season.

The nine-time winners were on track for spot in the final but suffered a 3-1 defeat on penalties against Bayern Munich in the semi-final after the tie finished 3-3 on aggregate.

However, Mourinho believes his side were the best in Europe last season.

"It is difficult to say but my team have reached a big step," he said.

"In my opinion, we were the best team in Europe last season.

"We won the most difficult league and we did that with incredible numbers and with a fantastic way of playing."

Despite falling short in the Champions League, Real dominated La Liga securing 100 points and finishing nine clear of fierce rivals Barcelona.

Article

Pellegrino buoyant on Valencia chances

18 August 2012 20:25

Valencia coach Mauricio Pellegrino believes his side will be difficult to beat this season as they prepare for a tough opening fixture in La Liga.

Pellegrino's men travel to Real Madrid to kick off their season on Sunday as they look to build on their impressive third-placed finish last season.

The Argentine tactician insists his side have the players to trouble Real and that Jose Mourinho's side will not be looking forward to the encounter.

"If someone had chosen to play against a team (in their opening game), no one would have liked to play against Valencia," he said.

"We are a difficult team to beat and tomorrow they will find out that."

Pellegrino also believes that the mid-week international fixtures will not play a massive part in the game, despite both teams having several players involved.

"I am not concerned at all," he said.

"We are two teams with a lot of international players. They (the players) have to work hard and we have to adapt to the situation, but I think the players will be ready for the match."

The former Valencia and Barcelona defender added some zest to the encounter by admitting that he was far from affable with Real counterpart Mourinho.

"I like him as a coach because he has gone and experienced different leagues and different players," he said.

"We were colleagues before and I knew him when he trained Chelsea, but we are not friends."

Article

Soldado keen to break Real duck

18 August 2012 16:35

Valencia forward Roberto Soldado says it is high time he scored against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The 27-year-old striker spent six years with Real, appearing in just 16 games for the first team and scoring two goals.

But Soldado has conceded he has fond memories of his time in Madrid and would like to get one more by claiming a victory over his former club on Sunday.

"I have not scored at the Bernabeu for four years, and that is too long. But we are working not to only get a goal, but to win as well," Soldado told AS.

"I am always looking to improve year after year. I know my performances are judged on goals, and I want to exceed what I got last season.

"I grew as a player and as a person there (in Madrid), and will always be grateful. Real Madrid is a club that gave me a lot.

"Now, though, I come as captain of Valencia and will do everything possible to beat them.

"We must approach the game seriously, be strong defensively and work together. We know how difficult it's going to be against (Jose) Mourinho's team because not only do they attack well, but they also defend brilliantly."

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +75 100
2 38 +61 85
3 38 +34 76
4 38 +21 66
5 38 +13 65
6 38 +3 57
7 38 +1 56
8 38 -16 53
9 38 +4 50
10 38 -14 47
11 38 -17 46
12 38 -21 45
13 38 -9 44
14 38 -9 43
15 38 -17 42
16 38 -17 39
17 38 -15 37
18 38 -29 36
19 38 -23 35
20 38 -25 34