Feb 14, 2013, 7:45 AM EST
If you listen to Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, his team has Manchester United on the ropes.
Mourinho says his team can score goals in the return leg of their Champions League elimination series. (Which happens in three weeks, on March 6. That gap? Way. Too. Long. We all want more of what tasted Tuesday.)
Mourinho has never been a bit short of confidence or bluster, so none of this is surprising. Neither is that he almost criticized the visitor’s tactics in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu, a match teeming with exceptional theater, one that absolutely lived up to its marquee billing.
It’s not exactly true that Manchester United played an overly defensive match. As Sir Alex Ferguson pointed out, that did put out an attacking lineup, featuring Wayne Rooney, Robin van Perise, Danny Welbeck and Shinji Kagawa. United did get caught defending too deeply in the first half.
But they pressed further up the field after the break and went hunting for the game-winner into the match’s final minutes.
I won’t criticize what they did – they got the result they wanted. We can score at Old Trafford. Many teams have done so at Old Trafford and no team with our attacking quality has played there.
I don’t think, with the British culture, that United will play with all their defenders in their half, as they did here. I am expecting a very strong opponent [then] with very good players, but I am confident and 100 percent sure we can do this. It is 50-50; it is a draw. They scored an away goal and we can do that as well. I like to play first game at home because when you play first game away, the tendency is to be unhappy with the score.”
Dec 9, 2013, 3:59 PM EST
Major League Soccer has been steadfast on this one all along:
Dec 9, 2013, 2:48 PM EST
Can the Swans surge back into the top 10? Watch live on NBCSN:
Dec 9, 2013, 2:29 PM EST
We caught up with ‘beardless’ Howard after his impressive outing vs. Arsenal. Here’s what he had to say:
Dec 9, 2013, 1:27 PM EST
With a shortlist of over 50 names to choose from, what is your current best starting XI in world soccer?
Dec 9, 2013, 12:59 PM EST
With Michu in-line to return, could the Swans blow the Tigers away?
Dec 9, 2013, 12:06 PM EST
Moyes takes the blame but how much longer can he take the flack for his under-performing stars?
Dec 9, 2013, 11:20 AM EST
Do the Gunners have themselves to blame? Or were the Toffees just too good?
Dec 9, 2013, 9:48 AM EST
Shock horror, Ronaldo and Messi go head-to-head for Ballon d’Or….
Dec 9, 2013, 9:14 AM EST
Ex-Premier League striker among those questioned as investigation continues:
Dec 9, 2013, 7:49 AM EST
Who gets your vote? Sit back, relax and watch some stunners from Osvaldo, Assaidi, Cabaye and others:
Dec 8, 2013, 11:54 PM EST
The one commonality among both stars’ groups: Almost none of their opponents have good defensive records.
Dec 8, 2013, 10:48 PM EST
Unbeaten in three, Spurs have turned things around since their loss at Manchester City.
Dec 8, 2013, 9:44 PM EST
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The difference between missed opportunities and bad luck.
Dec 8, 2013, 8:45 PM EST
Fulham decided it early against Aston Villa, while Giroud was denied late at The Emirates.
Dec 8, 2013, 7:40 PM EST
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Collin, Feilhaber, Findley and Schuler may have changed the way we see their careers.
Pulis vs. Allardyce; Crystal Palace vs. West Ham: Earle, Mustoe talk diverging paths of Eagles, Hammers (video)
Dec 8, 2013, 6:38 PM EST
NBC Sports’ analysts consider what’s going right in the South, wrong in the East.
Dec 8, 2013, 5:43 PM EST
New depths for Moyes, Everton continues to convince, and perspective required for Chelsea’s, City’s stumbles.
Dec 8, 2013, 2:51 PM EST
Roma’s enormous win, fueled by Mattia Destro’s winner in his season debut, gave the Giallorossi a vital three to keep pace with Juventus and extend their distance from Napoli.
Dec 8, 2013, 2:23 PM EST
Wenger believes consistency will be the key, but can Arsenal learn from previous campaigns and not shot themselves in the foot?
Dec 8, 2013, 12:59 PM EST
Mesut Ozil gave Arsenal the lead with just 10 minutes to go, but Gerard Deulofeu broke Arsenal fans hearts not long after.
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