Though Real Madrid CF took a giant step towards a first UEFA Champions League semi-final since 2002, José Mourinho was full of sympathy for opposite number Harry Redknapp after the Spanish team's 4-0 first-leg win. Redknapp said Tottenham Hotspur FC needed "a miracle" once Peter Crouch was sent off early on, while he also bemoaned the pre-match loss of Aaron Lennon to illness.
José Mourinho, Madrid coach
At this level it is very difficult for a team to play for so long with ten men. I played Barcelona with ten and you can only defend. They couldn't really do much more. We fully deserved this score but I feel sorry because I know the situation when a team plays with ten and they are unable to play the match they want; it is mission impossible. We are not in the semi-finals yet.
It's very important to have players returning. Injured players and suspensions are important. With suspensions you cannot win cups. Kaká coming back is good because he has good experience of the Champions League and these sort of matches. [Gonzalo] Higuaín is a goalscorer and we need him. Let's see the reaction of Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo, but at the moment it looks like they are fine.
I have complete sympathy for Redknapp. I have experience of playing with ten men in the Champions League. If you have an advantage you defend but when you are losing it is an impossible job. They will try everything in the second leg and will give everything at White Hart Lane. They will fight, that is for sure.
Harry Redknapp, Tottenham manager
It was a difficult night full stop. We lost Aaron Lennon as the team walked on, he was not well enough to play, then we go down to ten men.
You need a miracle to play here with ten men. It was an uphill and impossible task. In the first half we played fantastically with ten men but we ran out of legs. Then Gareth Bale cramped up and we lost [Vedran] Ćorluka, so we ended up with people struggling; it was one of those nights.
We've come back with ten before but for that long here it was impossible. Lennon had not been feeling great all day and he had the look that he was not fit to play. He did not feel he had the strength and energy to run. He felt rough, had a warm-up and then did not feel well. There was nothing we could do. He did not look happy and said he might not last five minutes so it was not worth risking.
It could not be much more difficult than to be 4-0 down to Madrid. It's not over until it's over but we've got a mountain to climb. It's been a great experience so far and there is still a game to come.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.