Mourinho: Real Madrid lacking fight
The Portuguese coach says his former team, who lost second El Clasico in four days, look unhappy
Jose Mourinho accused Real Madrid of lacking fight and looking unhappy just as the pressure cranked up on coach Santiago Solari after a second successive Clasico defeat yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Mourinho has been among those mentioned as a possible replacement for Solari, as Real have been knocked out of both the Copa del Rey and, realistically, La Liga's title race within four days.
The fact that both losses came at the hands of Barca, and at the Santiago Bernabeu, compounds the misery.
Real, who lost 3-0 in the cup last Wednesday, were inferior again in the rematch, as Ivan Rakitic's delightful chip earned Barcelona a 1-0 win.
"I think it was not a happy performance," Mourinho said as a pundit for beIN Sports.
"It was not the performance of a happy team, of a team with great belief and self-esteem.
"Clearly they are now in a zone after a few bad results, especially after the cup match.
"They couldn't bring to the game what I used to call the temperature of the big matches. They were passive.
"I cannot speak about a bad performance, it is just a soft performance. Sometimes you play like this against medium teams, and in the end, you get a positive result, but against the top teams you have to do a lot more than this if you want to win."
Former Real president Roman Calderon has claimed Mourinho will take over in the summer.
"I'm pretty sure he has general information about the club of his passion," Mourinho said.
"But he knows more than me because I know absolutely nothing about it at all."
Mourinho also said it was "very flattering" to hear La Liga president Javier Tebas say last month that the league missed coaches like him and Pep Guardiola.
Many will see Mourinho's comments as conveniently timed given Solari now appears particularly vulnerable.
When Solari took charge last November, Real were seven points behind Barcelona, but that gap has widened to 12.
They have also lost three consecutive games at home for the first time in 15 years.
"Football is about being clinical and they were much more clinical," said captain Sergio Ramos.
"It is true (that) with the consistency Barca are showing, they have increased the gap on us again and taken another important step towards winning the league."
Real's season, and perhaps Solari's future, will again depend on them winning the Champions League. They carry a 2-1 lead into the second leg of their last-16 tie at home to Ajax Amsterdam on Wednesday morning (Singapore time).
Said Ramos: "We need the league for fitness and rhythm, so we must continue working and keep winning games. We have another final in the Champions League on Tuesday and we will fight for it. In the league, we will try to reduce the gap."
Meanwhile, Espanyol forward Wu Lei became the first Chinese footballer to score in La Liga, netting his side's final goal in a 3-1 win at home to Real Valladolid on Saturday. - AFP