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Madrid media declare Real's mission complete but Jose wary of 'miracles'

Piece of Cake declared ‘Marca’ but the Spanish champions will be without Alonso and Ramos for the return leg.

SPANISH JOURNALISTS ARE arranging their travel plans to cover Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals after Jose Mourinho’s side romped to a 3-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain have put Madrid on course for the last four but Mourinho reserved most of his praise for the defenders that prevented the concession of any away goals.

‘Forward’ declared the AS newspaper, while Marca trumpeted ‘Piece of Cake’:

Mission complete: They are counting their Champions League chickens at Marca.

Speaking post-match, Mourinho said, “They need a miracle but there are miracles in football. So why can’t they dream of a miracle?

“I have enough experience to know we have a very good result and will try everything to convince my players that it is not over and try to play with the same mentality as tonight.”

Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso both picked up yellow cards in the second half that will see them miss the second leg, but Mourinho denied they had been pre-planned to ensure they would be free to play in the semi-finals and claimed their presence will be missed.

“They are important absences for the next game. Xabi and Ramos will play on Saturday when they weren’t going to do so, but it has complicated my plans for Istanbul.”

“We would need a miracle to change things,” said Galatasaray coach Faith Terim, “but we will try in Istanbul to play well and win the match.”

*Additional reporting - © AFP, 2013

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Patrick McCarry

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