There was the usual hushed silence and then sudden intake of breath heard in Nyon on Friday, though not for the Champions League Round of 16 draw but the first two ties of the Europa League Round of 32.
Reuters Soccer Blog
from Mark Meadows:
Annoyingly for Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, the supposed plot line of El Clasico on Saturday did not follow the script. The much-anticipated power shift from Catalunya to Madrid did not take place and his team are back to the drawing board as far as playing against Barcelona is concerned.
Xabi Alonso’s 30th birthday on Friday has prompted an avalanche of praise for the Real Madrid midfielder and has also served to highlight the former Liverpool man’s importance in coach Jose Mourinho’s plans for Spanish and European domination.
Jose Mourinho was given a rapturous reception by the Real Madrid faithful when his side entertained Galatasaray in a friendly on Wednesday.