Real Madrid could not repeat history in the Copa Del Rey finals and succumbed in extra time to their rivals across town, Atletico Madrid. Real had never beaten Atletico in three previous Spanish Cup finals and couldn’t do it again last night which means that Jose Mourinho’s potential last season at the club ends in a disappointment.
LA LIGA LOST EARLY
The chances of Real repeating their La Liga success of last season were lost early due to some inconsistent play which saw Barcelona seize the advantage which they never relinquished throughout the season. Barca stumbled a few times down the stretch but it was too late for Real to mount pressure. Early on, Atletico Madrid was the better team than Real in the La Liga and only some disappointing losses saw them hand over second spot in the standings to the Los Blancos. Barcelona was also the wounded tiger which began the season with utter domination and cemented their spot at the top of the League.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE HEARTBREAK
When the Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund scored 4 goals against Real in the first leg of their semi finals, the Spanish club’s dreams of a tenth Champions League were completely shattered and although they managed to put up a fight with two late goals in the return leg, the tie was long lost. Jose Mourinho promised much but Real looked unconvincing and were not dominant enough. In fact had it not been for Nani’s red card in their return leg at Old Trafford, Manchester United might have been the club who would have progressed at the expense of Real.
AIR OF NEGATIVITY
Numerous reports of rifts between the manager and some players caused an unhealthy atmosphere in the dressing room and led many to believe that there was a lack of unity in the club. Some decisions by Mourinho like condemning Iker Casillas to the bench did not go down well the club’s faithful and paved the way for the club’s fate this season. There were also many instances of friction between Mourinho and the management and his antics never went down well them.
BARCA DOMINATION - THE SAVING GRACE
It was refreshing to watch Real dominating Barcelona this season and it is the only silver lining they will take away from this campaign. A memorable victory in the Super Cup at the start of the season followed by domination in the Copa Del Rey semi-finals and another league win rounded off a satisfying campaign against the Catalans but it is ironic since Madrid does not anything else to show for this season. Real might have been the better of the two but in the long run, they just couldn’t muster enough.
With Real Madrid ending the season with nothing but the Super Cup triumph, they might be going into the summer with much work to be done and a possible major reorganization of their coaching staff which opens speculations as to who might succeed Mourinho if he chooses to leave. The Spanish giants might again get their way in the transfer market but as it happens all too often in football, team work and chemistry can never be bought.