Mourinho rebuffs Real exit report

Updated 04 December 2012
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Mourinho rebuffs Real exit report

MADRID: Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho yesterday dismissed a report in Spanish sports daily Marca that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season after a below-par start to their La Liga title defense.
Marca’s front page story, headlined “Divorce on the horizon,” suggested Mourinho’s exit was looming after a deterioration in the Portuguese manager’s relations with Real president Florentino Perez.
Under a picture of a broken heart, the report claimed: “Jose Mourinho will not coach Real Madrid next season.”
But Mourinho dismissed the story as having “no foundation.”
He added: “As I’ve always said, my relationship with the president is very good.”
Following their sluggish start to the season the Spanish champions are lagging 11 points behind Barcelona and five points behind second-placed city rivals Atletico Madrid.
Perceived disquiet at the Bernabeu has led to former Chelsea boss Mourinho’s name being linked to a return to the English Premier League, in particular as a possible successor to Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
Ferguson is a fan of Mourinho. When asked by British broadcaster ITV if he could replace him in the Old Trafford hot-seat, the Scot replied: “He can manage anywhere, absolutely.
“I’m not going to put any forecasts on what is going to happen at this club. I won’t last forever but Jose can manage anywhere, there is no question about that.”
Mourinho was careful not to add fuel to the Old Trafford fire yesterday, saying: “I regard these comments the result of the friendship and mutual respect that each of us has for the other.

“But his succession doesn’t seem to me to be on the cards at the moment in the sense that I can see him managing for a further 10 years. He is in form, he gets stronger and stronger.”
Aside from United he has also been linked with a return to Chelsea and big-spending French side Paris Saint Germain.
But he denied any interest in managing PSG, considering them only “as a potential rival in the Champions League.”


Profligate Arsenal punished by 10-man Atletico Madrid

The gunners could not defeat 10-man Atletico Madrid. (AFP)
Updated 27 April 2018
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Profligate Arsenal punished by 10-man Atletico Madrid

  • The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes
  • Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week

LONDON: Arsenal’s hopes of sending outgoing manager Arsene Wenger off with a trophy suffered a major blow as they could only draw 1-1 with 10-man Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal on Thursday.
The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes at the Emirates Stadium, with Sime Vrsaljko’s early red card handing them the initiative.
However, they were made to rue a host of missed chances before and after Alexandre Lacazette headed them in front on the hour mark.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone was also sent to the stands shortly after Vrsaljko’s dismissal, but the Spaniards resisted manfully and pounced when their chance came as Antoine Griezmann prodded home a vital away goal eight minutes from time.
Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week if Wenger’s last game in charge is to be the final in his homeland in Lyon on May 16.
Moreover, Arsenal’s hopes of Champions League football next season also hang on becoming the first side other than Real Madrid to eliminate Atletico from Europe for five seasons.
There was a far more highly-charged atmosphere for Wenger’s penultimate home game in charge than there had been for last weekend’s game against West Ham United.
And the hosts were given plenty of encouragement early on, even when still up against Atletico’s full complement.
Lacazette volleyed off the outside of the post and forced Jan Oblak into the first of a series of fine saves with a header from close range.
Vrsaljko had been booked within two minutes for bringing down Jack Wilshere.

And the Croatian left his side a man light after just 10 minutes when French referee Clement Turpin showed no leniency for another late challenge on Lacazette.
Moments later, Simeone was also dismissed by the officious referee for taking his protests too far when an Arsenal player wasn’t booked for what he thought was a similar foul.
Atletico’s excellent defensive record is what has carried them to five European semifinals in seven seasons under Simeone.
The visitors battened down the hatches with 10 men, but were reliant on Oblak to keep them in the tie.
Wilshere headed straight at Oblak when unmarked at the back post at the end of a flowing Arsenal move.
And the Slovenian then spread himself well with an outstretched leg to deny Danny Welbeck.
Having weathered the Gunners’ early storm, Atletico only began to threaten themselves late in the first half and David Ospina had to be alert to parry a fiercely struck Griezmann shot following a fine run from Thomas Partey.
Atletico retreated ever deeper toward their own goal after the break and were finally punished on the hour mark when Wilshere’s deep cross found Lacazette rising above Lucas Hernandez to head in his seventh goal in seven games.
However, the French international and Arsenal could have had more.
Laczette’s dangerous ball across goal found no takers before he headed another good opportunity wide.
And Arsenal paid heavily for their profligacy, and some comical defending, when Atletico grabbed a vital away goal on 82 minutes.
Griezmann outmuscled French international team-mate Laurent Koscielny and then benefited from a slip by Shkodran Mustafi after his initial effort had been saved by Ospina to prod his 27th goal of the season into the roof of the net.
There was still time for Oblak to show why Griezmann isn’t the only Atletico player wanted by Europe’s elite with a spectacular one-handed save to turn Aaron Ramsey’s header behind and keep Los Rojiblancos on course for another European final.