18 September 2011
Diego Jabalquinto (Valencia) / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Jose Mourinho addressed the media after facing Levante.
"The match evened out once we were down to ten men. One of the teams kept defending, albeit less, and the other wanted to attack but lacked potential to do so. The game ended once they scored. We played well in the beginning. Our opponent didn't enter our half of the pitch and Casillas didn't even touch the ball. We had great chances to score and we failed to capitalise on them because the pitch was in bad shape and Levante defended fiercely. We dominated the match at times. There was a clear penalty that wasn't awarded to us and it would have also meant that player's second booking. If we had scored and they had been left with ten men the game would have been different."
"All points are important and it's better to lose one game than to draw two. Losing is tougher psychologically than drawing a match, but drawing two is worse than losing one. We'll be in a better position if we exchange this defeat with a reduced number of draws. Every game and every point at stake is important."
"My player knows about these situations and fell for the trap. That's why I make him partly responsible for the defeat and I don't have a problem doing so. But the referee is also to blame. It's too much to forgive a penalty and a red card. It is also our fault, mine and my players'. An important part of the meeting I had with my players today covered similar images to those of Khedira's red card. I didn't think one of my players could fall for such a trap. You prepare for games as best as you can and this is the repsonse you get. It's normal on one hand because we don't train or recreate situations like this. Players have to be sufficiently intelligent to know how to react and to avoid these situations. You also have to feel it in your gut if the ref will allow it."
"Kaka was one of our best men when we had a full lineup. He gave a fantastic performance. I'm very satisfied because he created room and covered a lot of ground. Cristiano Ronaldo told me he wasn't fit at 14:00. He said he could help, but that he wasn't in optimum form, that he didn't evolve as expected since yesterday. He wasn't ready to play and he didn't train yesterday."
"I don't want to detract merit from Levante, who always do very well when they are allowed to play their game at their stadium. I congratulate them for being clever. They know how to waste time and how to not give the ball back. They know this because it's also part of football. Our players don't feel comfortable in this sort of habitat and Levante know it."