Having already let one piece of silverware slip out of their hands and under a bus, you could understand the look of disdain on Real Madrid boss José Mourinho’s face when the final whistle blew last week and the likelihood of lifting the Champions League trophy all but disappeared.
In what was the fourth incarnation of El Clásico this season, Real did well to hold their rivals for the majority of the game, but after the controversial sending off of Pepe, a small Messi-sized flaw appeared in their armour and the Argentinean striker punished the home side twice in the last 15 minutes to seal the victory.
Pep Guardiola would probably have been content to take a 2-1 defeat and overturn it back in the imposing surrounds of the Nou Camp, but the away goals put Barcelona at a huge advantage and they are priced today at 13/20 to win the second leg as well.
After all the sulking and the conspiracy calling, Mourinho will now need to focus on how his side goes about scaling the mountain ahead of them and with both Pepe and Sergio Ramos out of the second leg, he’ll be hoping some of his special touch has found its way into his squad come Tuesday night.
Bwin currently has Real at 3/1 to win away from home, but football betting fans might prefer the odds of 17/5 for a draw after Barcelona reported that defender Gabriel Milito will miss the game through injury.
Messi is naturally favourite to score for Barcelona but a successful £10 bet on fit-again Andres Iniesta to score at any time at 13/5 would see winnings of £36.
Cristiano Ronaldo barely featured in last week’s game, so perhaps a bet on Emmanuel Adebayor at 23/10 to score at any time might be a better option as the leggy striker looked threatening when he came on at half time.
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