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Sweating Mourinho

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 09:38 PM PST

...but it is sweet ending at the end for Real

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 13:33:00

Football

BACK FROM THE DEAD: Kaka back in action as a substitute against Getafe this morning after a long injury spell. Real Madrid won 3-2

MADRID: Brazilian ace Kaka made his comeback from an eightmonth injury absence as Real Madrid edged in-form Getafe 3-2 in a thrilling derby at Coliseum Alfonzo Perez this morning.

The win moved Real back to within two points of leaders and champions Barcelona.

Kaka, who cost Real £56 million (RM256.3m) when they signed him from AC Milan, entered the field as a substitute in the 75th minute.

A Cristiano Ronaldo penalty in the 10th minute and a goal from Mesut Ozil in the 19th put Real 2-0 up.

But the hosts reduced the deficit in the 29th minute via midfielder Daniel Parejo.

Ronaldo's second in the 57th minute made it 3-1 for Jose Mourinho's men.

Then Alvaro Arbeloa's dismissal eight minutes before the end put Real under pressure and Juan Albin found the net in the 85th minute to make it 3-2.

Mourinho admits to feeling uneasy during the clash.

He felt as if his team were not in control and the dismissal of Arbeloa left him with a feeling of anxiety as the game drew to a close.

"When the game started, I thought it would be three or four goals to Real and tranquility but at the end of the first-half we lost control and had to change the mentality and concentration," he said.

"In the second-half, we had a good start and came back to power, but between the goal and the sending off of Arbeloa, we stayed with it until the last second. It was a strange game. The three points are important against an uncomfortable opponent."

Mourinho also explained why he substituted Lassana Diarra at halftime.

He believes referee Alberto Mallenco was singling out his team with the result of three yellow cards due to handballs.

"I've seen four handballs. Three from my team and one from them and only we got cards. I changed because Diarra had a booking."

Mourinho is happy with Kaka's return to action.

"It's fantastic news for Real, Primera Liga and the world of football. Kaka is a super player." he said.

"It's a great story and he is very happy."

Getafe's Parejo believes his side had a number of chances to draw level with Real.

However, the 21-year-old praised his teammates for a positive display against one of the league's elite.

"We had chances in the match to tie." he said.

"We came out strong in a game that always motivates you to play well. Against Real we wanted to go flat out and avoid what happened last year, a 4-2 loss at home."

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New boss Leonardo impresses Inter striker Milito

Posted: 03 Jan 2011 09:33 PM PST

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 13:27:00

MILAN: Inter Milan striker Diego Milito (pic) is impressed by what he's seen so far from new manager Leonardo and is excited by the prospect of working with the Brazilian.

"Leonardo has given me a strong impression," Milito told Mediaset.

"I knew of him only as manager of AC Milan, but he has impressed me a lot.

"He is a great person who gave the players a clear message. The team will follow his instructions and we hope he can help us meet important objectives by season's end.

"Everyone has the same possibility to play, as he is the one who will make the choices. The squad are happy and training hard.

"We hope to start winning beginning against Napoli on Thursday," said the Argentine.

Meanwhile, fellow striker Samuel Eto'o believes the Nerazzurri are still capable of winning the Serie A title despite being 13 points off the pace.

"I hope that after a bad start to the campaign that we can win the Scudetto again," Eto'o told La Repubblica.

"It's a personal challenge which I think is possible because Inter have the best squad in the Italian championship.

"We've had our problems and although we are 13 points behind with two games in hand, we can do it. I want to enjoy the rest of the season and would love to take the title away from leaders Milan."

Midfielder Dejan Stankovic, at the same time, hit out at former boss Rafael Benitez.

The Serbian was left out of the Club World Cup final against TP Mazembe in the United Arab Emirates after playing a significant role in the 3-0 semifinal win over Seongnam Ilhwa.

"I still can't forgive Benitez. I played great in the semifinals, scoring a goal, and he left me out of the starting line-up," the 32-year-old told Sportski Zurnal.

"With Jose Mourinho, the same thing happened in the Champions League final, but you can't compare the two situations. Before the final in Madrid I was injured and I had not played in Barcelona due to suspension. I was not in-form, but in Abu Dhabi I was.

"Benitez's decision shocked not only me, but the whole team. Fortunately we won."

Despite winning the Club World Cup, Benitez was sacked and replaced with Leonardo.

"Was Benitez sacked because of me? I don't know," said Stankovic, who has been a fan favourite at San Siro since joining Inter in 2004.

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