Club Focus – Real Madrid – Los Blancos put La Liga campaign back on track

Real Madrid romped to a 4-1 victory over La Liga counterparts Real Sociedad on Sunday night marking a profitable week for Jose Mourinho’s men. Wednesday’s semi-final Copa del Rey trouncing of Sevilla booked a first final berth for the Whites since 2004 – but it is Barcelona who stand in Los Blancos’ path for both domestic league and cup honours this season.

The former, though, looks an unlikely prospect at present: the Catalans holding a daunting seven point lead over their most revered rivals, and the advantage effectively stands at eight points as a result of the Nou Camp outfit’s superior head-to-head record.

However, Madrid warmed to the task of staying within touching distance of Pep Guardiola’s men by enthralling the Santiago Bernabeu faithful with a divine display of attacking football under the floodlights. Brazilian star Kaka (fresh from a night off in midweek) opened the scoring within the opening ten minutes as Madrid, at times, threatened to run-up a cricket score.

It was then left to Cristiano Ronaldo to take centre stage and end a goal drought of three games, which for the Portuguese’s standards this term has been unheard of.The leading Pichichi front runner scored a first half double salvo, and in the process became the quickest player to notch 50 Primera Division strikes for the club in the shortest period in Whites history, taking only 51 games to complete the record.

Real Madrid could afford to ease down the gears somewhat during the second period, but it was the manner in which Los Blancos looked hungry and rejuvenated again following a lacklustre January which buoyed most Madridistas.  

In spite of a morale boosting performance, Mourinho remained defiant that a second place finish this season will count for nothing at the end of the campaign. He said: “I’m here to try to win the title, but nothing will be the matter if I end up in second place. What’s important to me is that we don’t give away the championship. If we do our job well and finish second we will be able to hold our heads high at the start of the holidays. Mathematics still say it is possible for us to win.”

The former Inter Milan and Chelsea Coach paid tribute to the performance of Emmanuel Adebayor, who has become an instant favourite at the Bernabeu since he notched a crucial goal on his home debut against Sevilla in the Spanish Cup.

“Adebayor played very well and proved why he’s here. We have two strikers in optimum form right now who have different characteristics. Karim played 85 minutes against Sevilla and will most surely face Brazil with France next week. That’s why I played Adebayor. We are happy with both players. This situation is perfect.” Los Blancos now have a full week to prepare for the away trip to Barcelona, where they face Espanyol.

 

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