José Mourinho said he took the blame for Real Madrid CF's poor start as Manchester City FC arrived for the opening match in what Roberto Mancini considers a "complicated" Group D.
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Real Madrid CF coach José Mourinho said he would not be making big changes for Tuesday night's eagerly awaited meeting with Manchester City FC, stressing that he was the first to blame for Madrid's poor start to the campaign. As for Roberto Mancini, a good start to Group D was on his mind as he stressed the difficulty of the "complicated" section his team find themselves in.
Coach José Mourinho
The starting lineup won't be very different and nor will I pick on any player who's not in the best conditions. It'll be the best team I consider to take on a team full of top-level players. I am the first one responsible [for Madrid's results]. In my teams when we win, we all win and when we lose I am the first one responsible. Before we lost in Seville, I told my players what I then said in the press conference, but it was not criticism.
Football is today and tomorrow not yesterday. Yesterday is history. I haven't been able to keep my players motivated and focused. I think that it is impossible to have a better squad-player relationship than the one I have. At this level, players and coaches have already won things. We all have titles, professional, financial security, we should not be worried by people and their reaction. Nobody puts pressure on me, I put pressure on myself. Nobody motivates me, I motivate myself.
Playing against Manchester City motivates as much as playing against Getafe. Winning the UEFA Champions League motivates me as much as any other match. Motivation is part of the job.
Saturday: Sevilla FC 1-0 Real Madrid (Trochowski 2)
Casillas; Arbeloa (Callejón 66), Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Khedira, Xabi Alonso, Özil (Benzema 45), Di María (Modrić 45), Ronaldo; Higuaín.
• An early goal from midfielder Piotr Trochowski at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán condemned Madrid to their second Liga defeat in three games and ensured the champions made their worst start to a top-flight campaign in 11 years.
Madrid new boys Michael Essien and Luca Modrić are both included in the 21-man squad that Mourinho has named for the match. The only absentee is young striker Álvaro Morata, which leaves Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuaín competing to lead the attack.
Coach Roberto Mancini
Last season was a good experience for us. We played a good group stage but it was not enough. The group is more complicated this year and it will be more difficult for the four teams. It's important for us to reach the second round. We have to work hard but now it's difficult to say what we can do in the competition. It will be a great match and both teams have fantastic players. It's important to start well. Real Madrid are the best team in the world but we want to do our best.
Saturday: Stoke City FC 1-1 Manchester City (Crouch 15; García 35)
Hart; Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Nasri, Sinclair (Silva 74), García, Yaya Touré; Tévez (Barry 63), Balotelli (Džeko 90).
• City were held to their second successive away draw having previously been held at Liverpool FC two weeks ago. Roberto Mancini handed debuts to recent signings goalscorer Javi García, Maicon and Scott Sinclair.
Argentina striker Sergio Agüero has recovered from a knee ligament injury he suffered on the first day of the season to give Mancini a choice of four strikers alongside Mario Balotelli, Carlos Tévez and Džeko.
Mourinho replaced City boss Mancini as FC Internazionale Milano coach in 2008. Mourinho had previously got the better of the Italian when his FC Porto side beat Mancini's S.S. Lazio 4-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the 2002/03 UEFA Cup.