Real Madrid 4 Tottenham 0: Spurs’ task was ‘impossible’

Jose Mourinho says Peter Crouch's red card all but ended Spurs' hopes of causing an upset in Madrid

Uefa Champions League quarter-final first leg, 5 April 2011, Santiago Bernabeu
team1
Real Madrid
Adebayor (4, 57) Di Maria (72) Ronaldo (87)
4 - 0
team2
Tottenham

Jose Mourinho believes Tottenham Hotspur’s difficult task was made “impossible” by Peter Crouch’s first-half dismissal after Spurs’ European dreams faded on a miserable night in Madrid.

Emmanuel Adebayor put Mourinho’s men in front early on when he nodded home a fourth-minute corner before Crouch was shown his second yellow card 10 minutes later.

Former Arsenal striker Adebayor then doubled the hosts’ lead on 57 minutes when he expertly headed Marcelo’s cross past Heurelho Gomes.

Angel di María’s stunning drive put Real three up before Cristiano Ronaldo volleyed home late on to give the hosts a surely insurmountable lead to take to White Hart Lane next Wednesday.

Mourinho was delighted with his side’s display but admits Harry Redknapp’s men faced mission impossible after being reduced to 10 men.

“We started very well, 11 against 11,” he said. “We scored a goal and we showed immediately that we had the intention to play with pressure. We wanted to put pressure on Tottenham and we were in the right way.

“I know after that, 11 against 10 at Champions League level, it is an impossible mission. I played in Barcelona with Chelsea with 10 men, impossible.

“I played in Barcelona with Inter with 10 men, impossible. Arsenal played against Barcelona a few weeks ago with 10 men, it is impossible.

“It just a question of the team with 11 staying concentrated, playing with a high tempo and not letting the opponent breathe. We did that in the second half, not so much in the first half.

“It is an impossible job. It is just a question of getting three or four. It is an impossible mission and I feel sorry for them because 11 against 11, the match would have been much better.

“Tottenham had to be defensive, with two lines of four at the back, and they couldn’t play their match. It was good for us because we got a good result, but it was difficult for them.”

Spurs boss Redknapp hoped his side could stop Madrid scoring in the second half but concedes Crouch’s dismissal all but ended their hopes of causing an upset in the Spanish capital.

“He’s not one for making rash challenges,” said Redknapp. “I don’t know if he has lunged in for the second one, but it has cost us dearly.

“It’s just what we didn’t need, to have 10 men here against a team like this. We then ended up losing our right-back [Vedran Corluka to injury] and Gareth [Bale] gets cramp. Is he fit, isn’t he fit? It was difficult.

“They are a great team with unbelievable forwards. To get to half-time, I thought if we could hang in there we would be in with a chance, but it didn’t happen.

“It was one of those days where anything that could have gone wrong did go wrong.”

When asked if he thinks the tie is now over, Mourinho added: “Not yet. I know English football well and I know the English mentality. It is not over.

“For you, it is not over. In another country I would say yes, but with English culture it is not over. They have belief until the last minute, so it is not finished.”

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