Mourinho unlikely to face ban for Supercup brawl

AP, Thursday 18 Aug 2011

Barcelona and Real Madrid won’t know the extent of any sanctions resulting from the Spanish Supercup brawl until next week but Jose Mourinho is likely to escape punishment

Jose Mourinho
Real Madrid's coach Jose Mourinho from Portugal looks on during his Super Cup final second leg soccer match against FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona (Photo: AP)

Three red cards were shown after players clashed at the end of Barcelona’s 3-2 win Wednesday to clinch its record 10th Supercup 5-4 on aggregate following a 2-2 draw in the first leg.

But the lasting image will be of Mourinho putting his finger into the eye of Barcelona assistant coach Tito Vilanova, who then slapped the Madrid coach on the head.

Referee David Fernandez Borbalan’s failure to include those details in his match report means Mourinho and Vilanova are unlikely to be banned when the disciplinary committee meets next week.

The Spanish federation said Madrid pair Marcelo and Mesut Oezil and Barcelona striker David Villa may escape league bans despite being sent off since the Supercup is considered a one-off competition and sanctions don’t necessarily carry over to other domestic competitions.

Barcelona’s players labeled Madrid’s tactics a “disgrace” while Gerard Pique said “Mourinho is destroying Spanish football.”

“The images speak for themselves,” Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said. “There are certain things that shouldn’t be done. This will all end badly if it doesn’t stop.”

Mourinho made a derogatory remark about Vilanova in the postgame news conference and was also seen making an inappropriate gesture toward Lionel Messi and Daniel Alves during the game.

“From the first minute of the second half there were no ball-boys, no balls. That’s something small-time teams do when then are in difficulty,” the Portuguese coach said. “I am very happy for my team after what happened in the end. What happened is somebody provoked the situation, and it certainly wasn’t a player from Real Madrid.”

The two teams played four matches in 18 days in April which were characterized by fights, diving and accusations of feigned injuries. That eventually led to Mourinho being banned for five matches for alleging referees and UEFA favored Barcelona.

Barcelona’s 5-0 win over Madrid in November also ended with opposing players who are Spain internationals becoming involved in a bust-up.

Wednesday’s match was the sixth meeting between the Spanish rivals since April and it spilled over into another ugly finale after what had been an attractive and dramatic match.

“Without a doubt that was the worst way to end the Spanish Supercup,” said former Madrid general director Jorge Valdano.

Still, Messi again showed his brilliance as he set up Andres Iniesta for the opener before scoring the other goals to become the competition’s all-time leading scorer by two from former Madrid striker Raul Gonzalez.

While the Spanish league season remains under threat of delay due to a strike, for Madrid the message was clear: success this season goes through Barcelona.

“We have won a Supercup against Real Madrid during a very intense game during which they’ve put us under a lot of pressure,” Guardiola said. “And we have learned a lot from these two games that we will use when we meet them again the future.”

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