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Mourinho thrilled with Kaka display

15 March 2012 07:41

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho hailed the form of resurgent midfielder Kaka after his side cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals.

After being held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their last-16 encounter with CSKA Moscow last month, Real had two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and others from Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema to power them to a 4-1 second-leg win on Wednesday.

Kaka, who endured a difficult start to life in Madrid after moving from AC Milan in 2009, was man-of-the-match, brilliantly orchestrating play in the middle of the park.

Mourinho was delighted with the 29-year-old's output, and rewarded the Brazilian by substituting him with 15 minutes to play.

"He had a spectacular match," Mourinho said. "He had his best games at AC Milan, but he has never worked harder than now."

"He does fantastic work for the team and it is normal that he does not have enough strength in his legs after 75 minutes."

Mourinho played down the fact he will be without Xabi Alonso in the first leg of their quarter-final, after the Spanish midfielder was suspended for one match by being booked during the game.

"There is no reason to cry because Xabi will not be able to play," he said.

"We are fine in the midfield, there will not be any problem because Lassana Diarra or Esteban Granero will play next to Sami Khedira."

CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky was philosophical in defeat, and said beating Real on their home turf was always going to be a tough ask.

"To get a result we would have needed to produce our best game and make no mistakes," Slutsky said.

"We played in the right manner before the interval, attacked on the break but still made mistakes, giving away chances."

"There is a feeling of disappointment that we failed to produce a big game. We had some nice openings in front of goal. (Seydou) Doumbia had a great chance with the score at 0-0. In games like these you cannot think you will get a second or third or fourth chance."

"We made many mistakes and allowed them to dominate possession; that was never going to result in anything good for us considering the level of their team."

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Info

Competition
UEFA Champions League
Date
14 March 2012
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
1 - 0
Full-time
4 - 1
On aggregate
5 - 2
Venue
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu (Madrid)
Attendance
67743

Goals

G. Higuaín 26'
(assist by Kaká) 
1 - 0
2 - 0
K. Benzema 70'  
3 - 0
3 - 1
77' Z. Tošić
 (assist by A. Dzagoev)
Cristiano Ronaldo 90'+4
(assist by K. Benzema) 
4 - 1

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
9 70'
11
24
5
13
18
19
# Player Bookings
17 84'
26
89
2
14
19
95

Thursday 17 April

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