Jose Mourinho’s legacy is in tatters at Real Madrid unless they can turn around their 4-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final.
Spain’s media picked over Real Madrid’s 4-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund, just 24 hours after Bayern Munich’s 4-0 demolition of Liga leaders Barcelona.
But while there was recognition of Poland international Robert Lewandowski, who scored all four goals for the German side, the focus for the Madrid media was on the failings of their own side.
“Madrid thrown into the abyss,” said sports daily Marca. “A lamentable performance without shots, play or defensive rigour.”
Inside, the nine-time European champions were lambasted for what the daily assessed was their worst performance since being beaten 5-0 by Barcelona in November 2011.
“I don’t remember a more inane offensive performance,” one commentator wrote.
“For a team that intimidates for the quality of its forwards and for the ease with which it scores goals, many times without needing to play brilliantly, their display in Dortmund was more than disappointing.”
Marca also pointed out that Madrid’s woeful record in Germany, with Los Blancos now having won just once in 25 European games on German soil.
“The curse continues,” it said in a headline.
The other Madrid sports daily, AS, was more positive, leading with a picture of Cristiano Ronaldo’s first-half equaliser and claiming that Madrid “can pull it out of the fire thanks to this goal by Cristiano”.
But there was criticism of Jose Mourinho, with one columnist comparing Real’s performance to that of Malaga — under the tutelage of former Real boss Manuel Pellegrini — in the last round.
“(Borussia Dortmund coach) Klopp gave credit to his rise as the emerging coach of the moment. He swept aside Mourinho, something he couldn’t do to Pellegrini, without the support of the well talked about controversy.”
The Catalan press, predictably, were less sympathetic, given the reaction a day earlier to Barca’s defeat against Bayern.
Sports daily Mundo Deportivo was quick to point out that Bayern stand 20 points clear of Dortmund in the Bundesliga and that “hours after the new ‘end of an era’ for Barca, Madrid also concede four”.
The Sport daily also concentrated on what defeat could mean for Mourinho’s future and his legacy should this be his final season in Madrid.
“The manager bet everything on the Champions League this season and it is approaching a disaster,” it said in an editorial.
“One cup, league, Supercup and wars with half the world is his questionable return.”