Osasuna vs. Real Madrid  0 - 0

Article

Albiol admits title chances gone

13 January 2013 10:31

Raul Albiol all but conceded Real Madrid's La Liga defence over, but said their league matches can be useful for Spanish cup competitions.

Real dropped a further two points after being held to a 0-0 draw by Osasuna on Saturday, with Kaka dismissed for two yellow cards, and the former Valencia man said improvement is essential.

"We are not having a great time in La Liga," the 27-year-old told the club's official website.

"But we have to improve and we need to go into the knock-out matches in the cup and the Champions League as well as we can.

"We know that the group of players are the same as last year and we hope to reach that level as soon as possible. A Champions League tie is special.

"We would like to go into it with a perfect record. We know the team's potential and we're going to prepare to get to the Manchester United match in top form."

Madrid are third on the table, 15 points behind Barcelona, but Albiol has rejected any suggestion that there are issues in the dressing room that underpin their indifferent form.

"We are not lacking motivation," he added.

"We get it just because we play for Real Madrid and we are have to go out to win wherever we are playing."

Article

Mourinho satisfied despite dropping points

13 January 2013 00:48

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has praised the attitude of his players despite firing blanks in their 0-0 draw with Osasuna on Saturday.

Bottom side Osasuna managed to shut out visitors Real for large periods of the game, restricting them to few clear-cut opportunities in an encounter which also saw Kaka sent off.

"It's not easy to create chances here against opponents like these," Mourinho told reporters after the match.

"We had chances to score though, not many, but we had some.

"I liked the attitude of the team, and several players had great games. (Raul) Albiol and (Fabio) Coentrao deserve praise, playing very well despite just returning from long injuries."

Speculation of internal unrest has refused to go away, with Mourinho's recent decision to drop captain Iker Casillas criticised by supporters.

But the coach only had words of praise for the club icon on Saturday, stating: "In our last two games, the team has played well defensively, and he has been a part of that.

"I liked how he played against Celta as well (in the Copa del Rey last week), rising to the occasion to give his team a boost. Nevertheless, it is still too early to tell if he will play against Valencia on Tuesday."

The Liga champions will now turn their attentions to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey, when they host Ernesto Valverde's Valencia at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Article

Mendilibar: Real Madrid ´one of the best´

12 January 2013 14:30

Osasuna coach Jose Luis Mendilibar believes Real Madrid are getting back to their best ahead of the La Liga clash between the teams.

Jose Mourinho's men have been struggling domestically this season and sit third in La Liga, 16 points behind arch-rivals Barcelona.

But Mendilibar, 51, says they are still a force to be reckoned with.

"Real Madrid are still one of the best teams in the world. They are just returning to their best form again and it will be very difficult to get a good result," he told reporters.

"They are great in every area and do not seem to have any weaknesses. They are impressive tactically, physically and technically.

"They showed against Sociedad that they are mentally tough as well, and we will have to be at our best to get something from this game."

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