No respite for Mourinho as Nou Camp ref on black list
With UEFA set to ban Jose Mourinho for up to four games for his post-Champions League semi-final first-leg comments, he will wonder if life as Real Madrid coach could get any worse. The answer is: yes, it could.
Had Barcelona not fallen to only their second league defeat of the season, the gap at the top would be 11 points and not eight as the two teams prepare to go into battle for the fifth and final time this season tomorrow night. The Catalans need just four points to claim the Primera Liga title.
Barcelona's players watched a lacklustre Real Madrid lose 3-2 to Zaragoza on Saturday and then proceeded to flop themselves, going down 2-1 away to Real Sociedad, meaning both sides lost on the same day for the first time since August 2008.
Of more concern to coach Pep Guardiola will be injuries to Gabriel Milito and young left-back Martin Montoya. Centre-back Milito will miss tomorrow's second leg with a thigh strain and Montoya will be out until next season after breaking his collar bone.
UEFA yesterday handed Frank de Bleeckere the task of refereeing the return leg at the Nou Camp, an appointment unlikely to go down well with Mourinho.
The Real boss read out a list of officials he believes have made decisions which have benefited Barcelona in previous years. Among the names was de Bleeckere after he sent Thiago Motta off during last year's meeting between Mourinho's Inter Milan and the Catalans.