Mourinho praises matchwinner Ronaldo

07:55, December 06, 2010      

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Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho this Sunday praised striker Cristiano Ronaldo after his side's 2-0 win over Valencia.

Ronaldo had been struggling with an ankle problem before the match, but was declared fit to play and netted twice in the last 18 minutes to defeat a dogged Valencia.

The game had been conditioned by referee Perez Lasa just eight minutes earlier when he sent off Valencia captain David Albelda for handball, when the ball had clearly hit Albelda on his shoulder.

With Madrid under pressure following the 5-0 defeat away to Barcelona, Ronaldo then took advantage of the referee' s present with two solo goals.

"Cristiano didn' t surprise me at all, he is a winner and I knew he would stand up to be counted and I knew he would do well," said the Madrid coach in Sunday' s edition of sports paper AS.

"The most important thing here was to win a difficult match, because it is never easy to react after a bad performance like our last game," he said.

Mourinho decided to face Valencia with three central midfielders and left striker Karim Benzema on the substitutes' bench.

"I changed the team with the aim of not suffering, because I knew what could happen if we didn' t control the game. With a stronger midfield and strong pressure, we were able to control things."

"It wasn' t a day for playing great football or scoring a lot of goals, it was a game we had to win and we will all go home with a different look on our faces."

"If Valencia had taken the lead my team would not have had the strength to have got back into the game," insisted Mourinho.

Source: Xinhua


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