Jose Mourinho immediately began looking to calm Real Madrid nerves Monday after a 5-0 thrashing by Barcelona, labeling his worst ever defeat "a loss, not a humiliation." Barcelona dominated the match at the Camp Nou stadium for its biggest win since the 1993-94 season and the Portuguese coach's most lopsided loss in a career that includes two Champions League triumphs.
"It's the worst defeat of my career. I've never lost by five goals to zero but it's easy to digest because it was a defeat without chance of winning _ so it's not hard to accept," Mourinho said. "We are only two points behind the leader so we have to continue working." Barcelona is now two points clear at the top of the league table with 34 points from 13 games following a dominant display of its brand of one-touch, possession football that left Madrid playing catch-up from Xavi Hernandez's 10th-minute opener.
Mourinho, the self-proclaimed "Special One," is expected to end two seasons without silverware for Madrid after guiding Inter Milan to a historic treble of league, domestic cup and Champions League titles last season.
Mourinho's first test of how his team responds is on Saturday against Valencia.
"I leave disappointed both in my team and my players, individually," Mourinho said. "You have to have character, when you lose by five goals you can't leave crying, you have to go and work harder. The season (has) not ended today." Mourinho criticized Madrid's carelessness as Pedro Rodriguez capped a 22-pass buildup with a goal in the 18th to make it 2-0.
Even Mourinho knew the game was out of reach from the 55th when David Villa scored the first of his two. Substitute Jeffren Suarez added the last in injury-time.
"I have to worry about my team that until now had been playing well and today played very poorly," said Mourinho, whose team suffered its first loss of the season in all competitions. "One team played to the maximum of its potential and the other very badly. It's a well-deserved win and well-deserved loss." The former FC Porto coach said Madrid was still finding its identity while Barcelona was "a finished product" after having won eight major trophies under counterpart Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola was not dismissing Madrid's chances of ending its trophy drought yet despite another convincing win in the national "clasico" following last year's 6-2 win at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
"Against rivals so strong and so difficult it's also easy to lose so you have to keep perspective," Guardiola said.
"These things happen every once in a while. But I still think Madrid is a very good team.
"(But) we're going to enjoy this." When asked if he thought Mourinho might be fired, Guardiola was clear in his response.
"I don't think so."