Soccer-Capello blames fear factor for failure to finish Bayern
MADRID Feb 20 (Reuters) - Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello said mental fragility was responsible for their failure to take advantage of a comfortable halftime lead as they ended up edging a 3-2 win at home to Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
"Teams score a lot of goals against us at the Bernabeu and it was psychological fear that came into play in the second half," Capello said after the first leg of the Champions League last 16 tie.
"It was like when a tennis player's arm seizes up, we got tense. They pressed us very hard in the second half and made three substitutions with fresh players, but it was more to do with fear than anything else.
"We were clearly the better side in the first half, but they pushed us very hard in the second and we struggled."
Real went into the break 3-1 up thanks to a double from skipper Raul and another from fellow striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, but they failed to press home their advantage and Bayern grew in confidence and dominated the second half.
Former Barcelona midfielder Mark van Bommel left the tie delicately balanced when he blasted home from the edge of the area two minutes from time.
A tense-looking Capello had to deflect a barrage of questions about his future at the club after media reports that he had tried to hand in his resignation on the eve of the match.
"I don't want to answer that question," responded the Italian when asked if he had tried to quit on Monday "I only want to talk about the game."
Opposite number Ottmar Hitzfeld, who took charge of Bayern last month, said their second half performance gave them grounds for optimism for the return leg in Munich.
"It was a very intense game and we showed the same faults as earlier in the season," said Hitzfeld.
"Real started better than us and found their rhythm more quickly. We played too deep in defence at the start and made two crucial mistakes from set pieces.
"I was very pleased with the way we played after the break though. We created more chances and it was only a question of time before we got a second goal.
"We stopped Real creating scoring chances and created plenty ourselves and it is a good foundation for the second leg. This result will be good for our morale."
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this