Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno
Mourinho's lineup was the subject of most of the post-match coverage. Also: praise for Iker Casillas.
There is no controversy, no difference of opinion, and not much to say about Real Madrid's work-a-day performance against Celta Vigo. The team was expected to win easily and to control the match. They did so. As such, the effect of the FIFA virus on Mourinho's choices for his starting 11 was of particular interest to the press after the game.
MARCA summed up the prevailing view on the game yesterday -
Higuaín's 11th minute strike and a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty in the 68th minute gave Real Madrid a victory over Celta in an uneventful game, which saw José Mourinho's men complete their objective and take home three points with no great difficulty.
José Mourinho's players were expected to be a little uncomfortable, given the number of injuries and the nerve of the Vigo-based team with high hopes on its return to the Bernabéu, but it ended up being a rather dull game to watch, though satisfactory for 'Los Blancos'.
In another piece written this morning, Marca consider that Mourinho got his line-up right, and were very complimentary of Michael Essien, who had a particularly impressive game. They expect to see this defence against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League this weekend.
They also note that half the line-up was playing out of position, with Kaká as a winger; and Modric, Essien, Cristiano Ronaldo (for the first half) and Sergio Ramos playing in different roles than they are accustomed to.
ABC writes that Iker Casillas has silenced his critics with his shot-stopping heroics in the closing moments of the game and with his flawless distribution throughout the match. Also: start Kaká, Özil, Modric and Alonso all in one game (and introduce Angel di Maria) and they write that one can expect controlled possession and passing.
All newspapers stress Madrid's total control of the match from start to finish.
Mourinho did not address the press after the match. As is becoming more and more common after team-wins he sent out Aitor Karanka.
The assistant coach was satisfied with the team. Questions posed to him seem to have focused on the line-up, and Karanka praised Michael Essien, in particular, for a job well done out-of-position.
Anticipating the usual tabloid sensationalism whenever a substitution is made Karanka also noted that Kaká was only removed to provide width on the wing with the introduction of di Maria after the break and that it was a purely tactical move.
Sergio Ramos expressed the wish that there had been more goals. He felt that the team controlled the match sufficiently, and created enough chances, and that the scoreline might have expressed this better.
Gonzalo Higuain admitted that his shot was actually a cross, but he was entirely pleased with the resulting goal!
In other news: Sami Khedira returned to practice today.