Sporting have pulled off the shock of the season when they ended Madrid and Mourinho's proud home record...
A Miguel de las Cuevas goal 12 minutes from time ended Real Madrid's perfect home record this season, and in the process brought Jose Mourinho's 150-game undefeated home league run crashing to an end as Sporting Gijon stunned Los Blancos 1-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Before kick-off, recently retired Brazil legend Ronaldo was given tribute by the two team captains and Madrid chiefs Florentino Perez and Jorge Valdano, as well as a rousing reception from the Bernabeu faithful.
Once the action got underway, it was business as usual and Ricardo Carvalho had the ball in the back of the net after just two minutes when he prodded home Esteban Granero’s freekick, but it was disallowed as the ball had floated out of play behind the goal when Raul Albiol attempted to cushion it back.
Madrid came close again on nine minutes when Angel Di Maria blazed down the left flank and fired in a cross-shot to the back post, but Emmanuel Adebayor just couldn’t make contact despite sliding in full stretch.
Sporting’s every-man-behind-the-ball approach did enough to frustrate Los Blancos and their fans, and Mourinho’s men failed to create any further threatening chances until the 34th minute. Di Maria carved out space to shoot after playing a one-two with Adebayor, but his effort sailed straight into Juan Pablo’s arms.
Five minutes from the break, a piercing through ball from De las Cuevas left the Madrid defence in sixes and sevens after a mix-up between Carvalho and Iker Casillas. But the last opportunity of the half fell to the hosts, when Mesut Oezil’s cross found Sami Khedira, who could only head wide from five yards out.
Madrid began the second period in similar fashion, with Di Maria and Granero firing long range attempts straight at Juan Pablo early on. Without any progress made, Mourinho sent in Gonzalo Higuain just before the hour mark. And within minutes, ‘El Pipa’ almost made a stunning comeback when he raced onto Di Maria’s through ball and hammered in a shot which was parried away by Juan Pablo.
Adebayor then thumped a header from an Oezil cross just over the bar, before the Togolese came close again from connecting with Higuain’s teasing low cross.
Completely against the run of play, Sporting stunned the home crowd when they scored 12 minutes from time. De las Cuevas traded passes with Nacho Cases, before coolly side-footing in a low shot into the bottom corner past a flat-footed Casillas.
Two minutes later, Madrid almost equalised. Adebayor’s half volley was parried by Juan Pablo, and Khedira’s rebound from a tight angle was somehow cleared by the goalkeeper right on the line. As the clocked ticked down Carvalho and Adebayor had chances to save Mourinho’s proud home record, but they were foiled by Juan Pablo, while Khedira was a last-minute attempt cleared off the line by Botia.
That was the last action of the game as Sporting Gijon held on valiantly to became the first side since Beira-Mar in February 2002 to defeat Jose Mourinho’s team in his own patch in a domestic league match. It also ended Madrid’s 100% record at the Bernabeu in all competitions this term, while putting a dent in their already faint La Liga hopes.