Mourinho: Real still favourites

Mourinho: Real still favourites

Jose Mourinho admitted his Real Madrid side deserved nothing from their Copa del Rey clash at Celta Vigo last night but backed his players to turn around the tie in the second leg at the Bernabeu.

Mario Bermejo put Celta ahead 11 minutes after the break with a low, back-post finish and Madrid were in disarray when substitute Christian Bustos scored two minutes after his 76th-minute arrival.

But Cristiano Ronaldo’s strike with four minutes left gave the visitors hope ahead of the return.

“I liked how Celta played and I think that they deserved to win the match,” said Mourinho. “The result reflects what happened on the pitch, but perhaps they didn’t do enough to merit scoring twice and neither did we to merit scoring once.

“They deserved to win the match, but I still think we are favourites to win the tie and I’d like to think that we will go through.

“There is no great drama, everything is still to be played for and we know they are a good team. I’d rather lose here today than to do it in the league because we can do something about this.”

Mourinho singled out Raphael Varane for praise with the young French defender playing through injury late on after Madrid had already made their allotted three substitutions.

The Portuguese said: “Varane was a champion because he was injured, he was injured and stayed on the field and did more than some players who were not injured.

“He has a fantastic mentality and did his job. He couldn’t sprint and could not play as a defender and he did well.”

Mourinho was less complimentary about other, unnamed, members of his squad, adding: “There are players who disappointed me, but I will not speak about anyone directly.

“I think that it would have been better if (Alvaro) Morata was here, he is still a little bit green but he has ambition, wants to give his best and is entitled to make mistakes.

“I make the decisions and it is my responsibility. I think we saw the same match and you can criticise the coach and his decisions, but maybe it is not always only the coach who has to take responsibility. I take mine.”

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