Jose Mourinho wants his former Chelsea “heroes” to beat Real Madrid’s conquerors, Bayern Munich, in the Champions League final, even though the football bookie odds consider a Blues win unlikely.
Mourinho had just watched his side beaten on penalties by the German outfit, following a tight and tense encounter at the Bernabeu, 24 hours on from Chelsea’s shock victory over Barcelona.
“I obviously want Chelsea to win; they were heroes to beat Barcelona with 10 men”, said the former Blues boss. “I’m proud of my players, and we have to be strong, but we were lacking freshness in an enormous game.”
Real enjoyed a season-defining victory at Barcelona, on Saturday, and carried that form into the early stages of the last-four tie, in Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice inside 15 minutes to hand Real a 3-2 lead on aggregate.
The home side did not hold the lead for long, though, as Arjen Robben converted from the penalty spot to restore parity, much to the reilef of fans who had picked Bayern in Betfred betting.
The second half was in sharp contrast to the first, with both sides less-inclined to take risks. The game followed a similar pattern in extra-time and the tie went to penalties.
Ronaldo and Kaka had penalties saved in the shoot out, before Sergio Ramos fired over to hand Bastian Schweinsteiger the chance to book Bayern’s place in the final. He made no mistakes, gifting Bayern a dream spot in the Munich final.
Mourinho, who was looking to win his third Champions League with a record third club, was gracious in defeat. “You have to stay balanced when you win and when you lose.
“The lads were fantastic, with an incredible mentality against a great team, against a team that, last weekend, were on holiday [Bayern rested players in the Bundesliga]. We lost, we are sad, and they are happy, but that’s football.”