With just over a week now until the first leg of Madrid’s Champions League Round of 16 meeting with Manchester United in the Spanish capital, United manager Ferguson will have watched proceedings tonight from his Cheshire mansion with a smile on his face accompanied by a nice glass of red wine. Nothing he will have seen will have worried him in the least.
In fact, Madrid’s limp 1-0 loss will have only served to reinforce the Spaniard’s total over-reliance on playmaker Cristiano Ronaldo to be both their creator in chief and, if things are not going to plan, also the man to get them out of a hole.
And when on the rare occasion the Portugal international is having an off night, such as this evening, then the team as a whole look disjointed, uninspired and without leadership or drive.
Meanwhile, it would also not have escaped the Scot’s attention that Mourinho’s side play virtually without any width at all, instead trying to force the ball through the middle at all times, something that was only partially rectified by the late introduction of Brazil left-back Marcelo, who was returning from injury.