Jose puzzled by Real red cards

Jose puzzled by Real red cards

Published Nov. 24, 2010 9:27 a.m. ET

Jose Mourinho was delighted with the performances of his side's fringe players in Real Madrid's impressive 4-0 Champions League win over Ajax.

However, the Madrid boss was less pleased by the two late dismissals of Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos for time-wasting by Scottish referee Craig Thomson - something Ramos insisted was not part of a plan hatched by the Spaniards' bench.

Madrid had already secured their place in the last 16 prior to tonight's match at the Amsterdam ArenA but the Spanish giants ensured they would finish in top spot in Group G after claiming a convincing victory over the Dutch outfit.

Karim Benzema and Alvaro Arbeloa put Madrid 2-0 up at half-time before Cristiano Ronaldo netted a second-half double to complete the scoring as Mourinho continued his unbeaten start to life in charge of the nine-time European champions.


Mourinho, who was without several first-team regulars for the match, said of the victory: "I'm very happy, because we're first in our group, which is good bearing in mind practically all the best teams will finish first and we can gain a small advantage in the draw for the last 16.

"I'm very happy with players such as Arbeloa, Benzema, (Raul) Albiol and Lass (Diarra), who don't normally play and have responded magnificently.

"For me all the players are fundamental. Everyone is going to have their opportunity. The responses that they have given today have been very good. The players are ready for everything, and that makes me happy."

Mourinho was less impressed by the dismissals of Spanish World Cup winners Alonso and Ramos in the closing stages after Thomson showed them each second yellow cards for time-wasting.

Midfielder Alonso received his caution in the 87th minute for taking too long over a free-kick inside his own half while defender Ramos was booked four minutes later for doing likewise with a goal-kick, which he was taking instead of goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

Those dismissals mean both players will be suspended for Madrid's final group game against Auxerre - a match that has nothing riding on it for the Spanish outfit.

When he was asked about the red cards, Mourinho said: "I spoke with many players throughout the game, not only with Ramos and Alonso. Stories sell, but the important thing is the 4-0 win and the fantastic game we had. Let's talk about that and not other things."

When quizzed on the subject again, Mourinho said: "The sendings-off came after an easy game where the referee has shown some strange yellows.

"They are cards that I don't like.

"It was an easy game to control. Ajax made a lot of fouls and in the first from Ramos he was shown a yellow card."

The Portuguese coach added: "The red cards we picked up don't matter hugely as we have already qualified ahead of the next game against Auxerre. If Ramos and Alonso can't play against Auxerre then there will be others, but we are not going to gift the game to the French. We want to win them all."

Ramos insisted Madrid did not deliberately seek the cautions to get suspensions out of the way before the knock-out stages.

Ramos said in AS: "We haven't gone looking for the cards. Seeing what the scoreline was, the referee could have spared them. But he sent me off and that's it."