• Champions League

Mourinho lauds Real strength

ESPN staff
September 18, 2012
it's fairvto say Jose Mourinho was delighted with Real Madrid's victory over Manchester City © Getty Images

Jose Mourinho declared the DNA of his Real Madrid side had returned after they twice battled back from behind to snatch a last-gasp 3-2 victory over Manchester City.

In a pulsating second half substitute Edin Dzeko put City ahead after being fed by Yaya Toure only for Marcelo's deflected strike to level things up eight minutes later.

City edged in front again when Aleksandar Kolarov's free kick crept into the far post via a slight touch off Xabi Alonso but once more, City failed to protect their lead.

Just two minutes after going ahead Karim Benzema turned on the edge of the box to fire home before Cristiano Ronaldo's dipping shot squeezed past Joe Hart in the final minute of the match.

Mourinho was adamant the victory was fully deserved and he said their triumph could kickstart Real's fortunes after an indifferent start to the campaign.

"It is a good win because the DNA of my team is back," Mourinho told ITV Sport. "They proved to me that if they want to be top professionals and respect Real Madrid's history they can do it.

"Real Madrid can lose matches, Mourinho can lose matches, my players can lose matches, and we can lose matches like tonight.

"We could lose and I would be proud, but we cannot lose matches like we did in Sevilla and Getafe and my happiness is not just about the three points, it is about the DNA of my team being back.

"I'm so happy with the attitude of the players. It is a big victory against a big team. That's football; we deserved to win. If I felt we didn't I would have more sympathy for [City]."

Despite beating Barcelona in the Super Cup, Real are already eight points behind their rivals with just four games of the Spanish league season gone, but Mourinho says their renewed desire must now spread to other, less glamorous games.

He added: "They've proved to me that if they want, they can. If they want to be top professionals and if they want to respect Real Madrid's history, every match, not just against City or against Barcelona, every single match they can do it because last season they proved it.

"If I am the coach of a small team I can lose more times but as the coach of Real Madrid I can not accept that. I'm so happy with the players' attitudes, because it's a big victory against a big team.

"That's football and we deserve to win. If I feel we don't, I would feel a bit more for them but we produced a better match than them. We tried to win from the first minute and I think we deserved it."

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