Spanish League: Day 30


If the conquest of the matches is a process, this Real Madrid lives a season focused on shortening the proceedings. Against Sporting maneuvers economy reached the peak. The fewer passes, the better. The less time is given the ball in midfield, the better. The longer the game is channeled on the sides, the better. If possible, always straight. Always in the same direction. Far from ensuring a big level of forcefulness, this simplification dragged Real Madrid to the failure. Bernabeu Stadium saw it and took a few minutes to express its mood. Whistles, rumors, silences. Is what inspires the team plan. Sporting, a team that is playing to stay in the category, with no resources to develop other ways, replied shutting in the box. Red and white team threw once into the net. It was goal.

Cases returned a ball-wall to De las Cuevas, who distanced himself in the middle of the area and fooled Casillas with the body while adjusting the shot at the near post. There was 10 minutes left to react. Too little for a team without a rudder, out of square by changes Mourinho introduced from minute 55.

Real Madrid 0 - Sporting Gijon 1

Mourinho never lost a home game since February 23, 2002 with Porto. More than nine years ago. This argument prompted the imagination of the strategists who planned his move to Madrid a year ago. They said: "A guy who takes so many games without losing at home, something must have!". Something, as opposed to nothing, represents anything. None of the qualities that players stand on Mourinho is closely related to the organization of the team around the possession of the ball. The coach has established principles, but lack the sophistication needed on days like yesterday. Against a rival that defends and hopes, Real Madrid has struggled. With or without Cristiano. The weightless opponents were almost always which have caused insurmountable difficulties in the League. Team that fought desperately as Sporting, Levante, Osasuna, Deportivo and Almeria.

Against Sporting, the plan was to protect Casillas with a line of four defenders highly unlikely to join the attack and two midfielders of great athletic ability, specializes in placing and retrieving. In the attack, Lass had order to initiate the moves looking for Özil ,Di Maria or Adebayor, in that order. In case of do not find a way out, go back to the defenses to proceed to throw a ball to Adebayor, who endured while Khedira went like a train on the hunt for rebounds and hanging balls. This Real Madrid never showed special care for the initiation of the game. Mourinho assumed that with a good defense and strikers, the matches would have resolved in the areas. He relied on the expertise of the players in solving problems in front of rival goal. He clung to an inspiration, a stroke of fortune.

To avoid risky transitions, Mourinho moved to Di Maria and Özil to the sides with one target: to receive, move and pass the ball to Adebayor. Granero was placed between the lines, too far from Lass to participate at the start and too far from the side midfielders. Granero and his colleagues were more than willing to comply with instructions, butthey lacked the initiative to find solutions that were not in the coach's manual. Above all, they lacked Xabi Alonso.

Real Madrid came more genius after the break. Granero began to offer more to Özil and Di Maria,who left the sides. From that meeting, the team began to impose and have more occasions. In one of these, Di María forced Juan Pablo to stretch. For 10 minutes, the game of Madrid reached a point of consistency. Mourinho cut it off when removed Granero. Determined to preserve every brick of his wall, Mourinho kept Khedira and Lass, retired Arbeloa, played with Pepe and proceeded to form a three centrals defense. He must believe that Casillas's goal would be safe. The skinny De las Cuevas undertook to prove otherwise.

Doomed to a nervous breakdown during the quarter of an hour remaining, Madrid only improved acceleration and wear. At full thrust, Higuain and Adebayor were close to tie the game. But Juan Pablo stole them the glory with two stops that silenced Chamartín Stadium.


Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 77,000
Goals: 0-1, m.78: De las Cuevas

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