MADRID: The last battlements of Jose Mourinho’s castle in Castille have come tumbling down after the loss of the Spanish league title to Barcelona was followed by an angry defeat to neighbours Atletico in the cup final.
To add to fury among the Madrid faithful the defeat – Real’s first to their neighbours in 26 games – was inflicted in their own Estadio Bernabeu.
Topping it all off, both Mourinho and superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo – who had scored Madrid’s goal in their 2-1 defeat – were shown the red card in the closing stages of extra time.
Later Mourinho declared this as his “worst ever season” since it was one he will end with only the Spanish Supercup to show for his controversially high-profile efforts.
Mourinho added: “It is not normal to hit the post three times. You don’t have to be a magician to tell that the result of the final was not fair, that Atletico are not just winners. In football everything is forgotten, you forget the refereeing, the posts. Only the winner remains and that is Atletico.”
The not-quite-so-special one is expected to cut short his Madrid contract as soon as the Liga season ends next week and head for either Chelsea or Paris Saint-Germain.
Madrid will probably finish runners-up in the league as well as in the cup and also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League but this was below the standards and targets Mourinho had set himself at the start of the season.
Ronaldo, who was shown straight red after kicked out at Atletico captain Gabi in the second half of extra time, apparently catching him in the face, headed Real in front in the 14th minute. Diego Costa equalised 10 minutes before the break.
Mourinho was dismissed for protesting a referee’s decision with around 15 minutes of regular time left before Miranda’s 99th-minute header secured Atletico’s 10th cup and their first win over Real since 1999.
The match – in which Real’s Mesut Ozil, Karim Benzema and Ronaldo all hit the posts – descended into chaos near the end. A mass brawl between substitutes and technical staff erupted on the side of the pitch after Ronaldo received his marching orders.
Play was further interrupted moments later when Atletico goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois – their man of the match – was hit by an object thrown from the crowd and Gabi was shown a second yellow card in the dying seconds for time wasting.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone said: “The team won with the hearts of each one of the players. They lost their fear, as well as having the luck that you need.
“Accepting in the buildup that they are better than us and play better made us stronger. We responded in extra time better than anyone. These feelings we have today are special.”
This was Real’s first home defeat in 44 matches. They have lost 20 of the 38 domestic cup finals in which they have featured, including six of eight played at their own stadium.