MADRID - Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho
criticised midfielder Sami Khedira after the German
international got himself sent off in Sunday's shock 1-0 defeat
at tiny Levante.
Khedira, making his first appearance of the season after
injury, was shown a second yellow card shortly before halftime
after getting caught up in a melee and shoving the home side's
captain Sergio Ballesteros to the ground.
Portuguese Mourinho accused Levante of baiting his players
but said Khedira had shown a lack of intelligence by reacting as
Real suffered their first setback of the campaign following wins
in their first two games.
"The blame in my opinion lies with one of my players who was
lured into a trap," Mourinho told a news conference.
"In part he is responsible for the defeat, I have no problem
in saying it, but the referee also shares the blame, as do I and
the players," the former Inter Milan and Chelsea manager added.
Mourinho, who joked before the game that Real's priority
this season was to avoid relegation, said he and the players had
studied videos of similar situations that had led to red cards
as part of their preparation for the match in Valencia.
"I thought that this would not happen and that nobody would
get a red," he said.
"You prepare and then later the response is not the one you
want. I think the players have to prepare themselves.
"They have to have enough intelligence to avoid situations
like that and have a sense of whether the referee will allow it
"That's why I have to congratulate Levante for being clever,
because they know how to provoke, simulate, not give back the
ball, waste time, and that is also part of football."
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