Mourinho has the full support of Real Madrid fans, insists Butragueno

Emilio Butragueno has stressed that Jose Mourinho still has the full support of the Real Madrid fans, despite the Santiago Bernabeu side’s relatively disappointing start to the 2012-13 campaign.

Mourinho was seemingly whistled at by a section of the Blancos faithful during their 3-0 Copa del Rey win over Alcoyano on Tuesday, but Butragueno is adamant the Portuguese is still popular with the home crowd.

“The Madrid fans clearly still support Mourinho, and so does the club. We’re completely behind the coach,” Madrid’s director of institutional relations told AS.

The capital club currently sit third in the league table, trailing arch-rivals Barcelona by 11 points, while they are second in Champions League Group D behind Borussia Dortmund.

Madrid face second-placed Atletico Madrid on Saturday as they aim to narrow the gap with their city-rivals.

Mourinho has the full support of the fans, insists Butragueno

Emilio Butragueno has stressed that Jose Mourinho still has the full support of the Real Madrid fans, despite the Santiago Bernabeu side’s relatively disappointing start to the 2012-13 campaign.

Mourinho was seemingly whistled at by part of the Madrid faithful during their 3-0 Copa del Rey win over Alcoyano on Tuesday, but Butragueno is adamant that the flamboyant coach still has the backing of the home crowd.

“The Madrid fans clearly still support Mourinho, and so does the club. We’re completely behind the coach,” Madrid’s director of institutional relations told AS.

The Blancos currently sit third in the league table, trailing arch-rivals Barcelona by 11 points, while they have to settle for second spot in Champions League Group D behind Borussia Dortmund.

Madrid face second-placed Atletico Madrid at the weekend as they aim to narrow the gap with their city-rivals.

'Ronaldo & Bale combining would be amazing for Real Madrid' – Southall

EXCLUSIVE
By James McManus

Former Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall has stated his belief that Tottenham winger Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit for Real Madrid, should he decide to move there in the future.

As exclusively revealed by Goal.com, Bale is ready to test himself abroad and tell Tottenham he wants to move to Madrid and Southall believes he would slot in well at the club alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Well if you had Cristiano Ronaldo on the right wing and Bale on the left wing that would be some team for Real Madrid, wouldn’t it?” Southall exclusively told Goal.com.

“Hopefully though he’ll just stay in Britain, and Welsh players tend to stay at home a lot, at your Manchester United’s and Man City’s, that would probably be better [for him].”

On the topic of whether Bale will be able to secure a move to La Liga in the near future, Southall argued that he needs to remain patient for the time being, even if he agreed that eventually a time will come when he will need to seek a move to a bigger club.

“That’s a tough one to answer but I think eventually Gareth will leave Tottenham,” he added.

“How much they need the money and how close they come to winning anything, that might be the only reason Gareth would consider leaving Tottenham, because he wants to start winning things.

“He might actually prefer to stay in Britain, whether that be Manchester United or Manchester City, which is obviously closer to Cardiff than Barcelona and Real Madrid, and we know that he’s a home boy.”

After an indifferent start to the new campaign for Andre Villas-Boas’ side, though, many have questioned whether Bale is good enough to make the step up of playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, but the 52-year-old has no doubt that he is capable of making the grade at either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

He added: “Yes, he’s been playing at that level already and when you play with better players it becomes easier to perform.

“It’s always easier to play with good players than bad players, and I speak from experience, because you don’t know what they’re going to do.

“He’s got that bit of pace that he could add to Barcelona and he’d be quality for them, but it’s just if he wants to go there.”

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TEAM NEWS: Morata starts for Real Madrid in Copa del Rey clash

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has handed a start to Alvaro Morata for the Spanish Primera Division champions’ clash with Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey this evening.

The Madrid Cantera striker recently came off the bench to grab a vital three points for the capital club in a Liga match with Levante, and he is rewarded with a start at Santiago Bernabeu.

Mourinho’s men comfortably dispatched of the Segunda B side in the previous leg with a 4-1 away victory, and the Portuguese coach has rung the changes for the return match. Youngsters Jose Rodriguez, Denis Cheryshev, and Nacho all make the starting XI, as does first-team squad member Raphael Varane.

There are still some veteran heads sprinkled throughout the team, however. Ricardo Carvalho and Raul Albiol make rare starts at the back and the centre midfield pairing of Mesut Ozil and Luka Modric are sure to play an important part.

Real Madrid (4-2-3-1):  Adan; Albiol, Carvalho, Varane, Nacho; Modric, Ozil; Callejon, Rodriguez, Cheryshev; Morata

Alcoyano (4-2-3-1): Adrian Murcia; Arkaitz, Javi Selvas, Oscar Lopez, Devesa; Javi Lara, Pereira; Tortosa, Omar, Dani; David Torres

Real Madrid 3-0 Alcoyano (agg 7-1): Angel helps Mourinho's men into last 16

Real Madrid have progressed to the last 16 of the Copa del Rey after a professional but hard-fought 3-0 win over Segunda B side, Alcoyano, on Tuesday evening.

Los Blancos dominated possession for the majority of the match, but found it difficult to break down the battling defence of the visitors. The opening goal eventually came midway through the second half when Angel Di Maria swept home from the right-hand side. A brace from Jose Callejon in the latter stages sealed the win.

A fairly tepid start was brought to life by a moment of brilliance from Luka Modric in the ninth minute. The former Tottenham man lashed a venomous half-volley at goal from 20 yards that was only kept out by a fine save from the Alcoyano goalkeeper Adrian Murcia.

Madrid, and particularly Modric, began to exert greater control in the midfield areas, and it was not long before they threatened the Alcoyano goal again. The Croatian midfielder turned provider on this occasion, dissecting the defence with a perfect pass to Callejon. Murcia rushed from his line to meet the attacker, and his antics were enough to put the 22-year-old off as his shot drifted wide.

Denis Cheryshev, making history this evening as the first Russian player to appear for Real Madrid, nearly capped his debut for the Liga club with a goal midway through the first half but for another smart stop from Murcia. The shot-stopper was called into action once more before half-time as he produced a diving save from Callejon’s devilish free kick from 25 yards.

Despite Madrid’s dominance of both possession and chances in the first half the game was goalless at the break, though the second period started off in the same mould as the opening 45 minutes.

However, they were arguably let off the hook 10 minutes into the second half when Sampedro Omar latched on to a pass through the middle from Jorge Devesa. The Alcoyano man only had the goalkeeper to beat but the play was brought back for a questionable offside decision.

The fans of the Segunda B side were in high spirits throughout the match, but in truth there was only one team who looked likely to break the deadlock as the game progressed, and it would have happened earlier if not for some superbly times interceptions from Juan Pereira and Oscar Lopez.

The opening goal eventually came 72 minutes in when substitutes Karim Benzema and Di Maria combined.  The Frenchman, with one of his first touches in the match, found his team-mate on inside right channel, and the Argentine showed composure to curl the ball into the far corner with a left-footed strike.

The strike from Di Maria added further woe to the visitors as Javi Selvas was shown a second yellow card in the aftermath of the goal, and was subsequently sent off.

The hosts probed for another goal, with strikes from Benzema and Di Maria coming within inches of doubling the lead. However, it was Callejon who eventually netted when he picked up the ball near the penalty spot and beautifully dinked the ball over the onrushing Murcia.

The 25-year-old doubled his tally moments later with a lovely finish through the legs of the Alcoyano goalkeeper, ensuring a comfortable victory over two legs for los Blancos.