Real Madrid set half of their foot in the semifinal after picking up a 3-0 away victory over APOEL on Tuesday and Los Blancos’ coach, Jose Mourinho simply feeling a lot of joy with the result, which didn’t actually arrived easily.
Mourinho revealed that the Cyprus’ side were holding on courageously and adding that his substitute players were simply the key for Madrid’s success on dismantling the home team’s strong defensive effort on that match.
The Portuguese tactician revealed that putting on Kaka and Marcello in the second half was simply the best option as their pace and quality were more than enough to break down APOEL’s defense who are showing tiredness. Morever, the tactician is confident that his team are just a formality away from reaching into the semifinal, as he simply believed that it would be too difficult for the Cyprus outfit to grab a 4-1 victory at Santiago Bernebau.
“APOEL made things very difficult for us and we won because we played well. They were strong in defence and showcased great team spirit. I think APOEL are doing a fantastic job. We knew the match would be complicated for them and bringing Kaka and Marcelo on was decisive. Marcelo and Kaka came on in a privileged time during which APOEL’s physical potential was beginning to falter. It will be difficult for them to win 4-1 at the Bernabeu,” Mourinho explained.
Aside from sending out special praises for Kaka and Marcello’s performances as subs, Mourinho also revealed his satisfaction over Nuri Sahin’s performance on that game. The summer signing hasn’t really had much playing time this season due to a major injury he picked up early in the season and obviously took him quite a while in getting his fitness back, not to mention the strong competition in the club which simply made things harder for Sahin to impose himself for Los Blancos.
“I’m very happy with Sahin’s performance and so are his teammates because we all like him very much and he’s had a rough time. He had the chance to play tonight and did very well,” Mourinho added.