Perez backing for Mourihno after unfair schedule rant
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has launched a passionate defence of his club's manager, Jose Mourinho, after he criticised the La Liga fixture list, saying the schedule worked in favour of their rivals Barcelona.
Mourinho said that Real have less opportunity for rest between matches than league leaders Barcelona, complaining also that his side play in the late 10.0pm slot more often than Pep Guardiola's side, and that his team frequently have to play after the Catalan team.
"Class is earned by acknowledging the merits of our opponents, but also by defending what we believe is just," Perez said. "Class is also earned by denouncing irregular behaviour both on and off the pitch.
"It is an example of true Madridismo to defend Real Madrid from what we believe to be unjust, irregular or arbitrary. And that is exactly what Jose Mourinho does," added Perez.
The comments came as Real kept up the pressure on Barcelona with a 2-0 win over Hercules on Saturday. Karim Benzema scored both goals to extend his fine recent form to 10 goals in nine games. The gap is now five points after Barca could only draw with Seville last night with Bojan Krkic scoring for the Catalans.
In France, Loic Remy and Lucho Gonzalez were on target in a 2-0 win at Rennes as Marseille moved up to fourth ahead of their game against Manchester United tomorrow.
In Serie A, leaders Milan continued their stuttering form as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Bari yesterday. Gergely Rudolf put the visitors ahead in the 39th minute before Milan displayed more urgency in the second half. Massimiliano Allegri's side had an effort disallowed after Zlatan Ibrahimovic was judged offside and the Swede went on to have another goal ruled out, this time for controlling with his hand.
Frustration told on the forward, as he was sent off for a second booking in the 73rd minute, yet Milan recovered in dramatic fashion, substitute Antonio Cassano scoring the equaliser with eight minutes left.
Celtic's Scottish Cup game against Inverness Caledonian Thistle was called off yesterday due to a waterlogged pitch. It will be replayed on Wednesday.