Real Madrid Coach Jose Mourinho has conceded that retaining the League title this season is now ‘practically impossible’.
The Portuguese made the admission after watching his side drop two points at home to Espanyol in a 2-2 draw. Combined with Barcelona’s later 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid, it sees last year’s champions 13 points behind in third place.
“It is practically impossible. We are 10 points behind and this could be 13 [as it became]. That is too many at this point,” lamented Mourinho at full-time and before Barca’s game with Atleti.
“Last year we were ahead by 10 in February or March and just about kept the distance. But if we improve in the League, we will improve in the Cup and the Champions League.
“I have never been in a situation like this, to lose so many points and to lead a team that is so far from their targets.
“It is new to me, but I will not make a drama, only take it as a stage in my life. I do not lack the strength to finish the season as strong as possible.
“We have titles to reach and you have to fight for them. I think La Liga is impossible, but you have to try and win dignity forever.”
Mourinho then turned his attention to Sunday evening’s draw at the Santiago Bernabeu with struggling Espanyol.
Madrid had turned a deficit of 0-1 through Sergio Garcia’s goal around into a 2-1 lead thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo and Fabio Coentrao’s goals either side of half-time.
However, Juan Albin cropped up at a set piece to pull things level with two minutes to go.
“Cristiano played well, but his teammates, no. Now, the attitude has been good. We lacked a bit of calmness, and a bit of luck. For the effort of the players, we deserved to win.
“We missed clear chances. I have no criticism of the players. Factors outside of sport always exist, but do not effect.
“The team is not as good as normal. They convey the same appearance without the results. With today’s opportunities, in other years we would have scored three, four or five goals. Our opponents scored against us with very little.”
The Coach was asked for comment on substituting Luka Modric off at half-time.
“He has problems playing two consecutive games in three days. When we consecutively use him as a starter, his response is not the best.
“But, it hurt to take him out as he did not deserve it. However, I felt that Di Maria could provide much and so too the wings.”