sport

Jose applauds 'dominant' Real

Jose Mourinho thought Real Madrid were worthy winners at the Estadio de Vallecas following Monday night's 2-0 triumph over Real Vallecano.

Karim Benzema finished off a superb counter-attack in the 13th minute to put the visitors in the ascendancy, but it was not until midway through the second half - when Cristiano Ronaldo slotted home from the penalty spot after Jordi Amat had handled in the area - that Real made the game safe.

While they dominated for large spells, Xabi Alonso had to clear off the line in the first half and defender Alvaro Arbeloa was fortunate to see his careless back-pass catch Vallecano striker Andrija Delibasic unawares.

While Mourinho praised the efforts of their opponents, who had Jose Manuel Casado sent off for a second bookable offence in the closing stages, he was happy to see his side claim their first victory on their travels this season.

"What's important is that we've scored enough goals to win a match that we have dominated," Mourinho told the club's official website. "It was a match with a lot of pressure. They applied considerable pressure and we did too.

"Besides a counter-attack in the first half and a lost ball by Arbeloa in the second, I don't recall any great goal opportunities from Vallecano."

The encounter was re-scheduled after a suspected act of sabotage saw the power supply cut ahead of Sunday's game, leaving the pitch without floodlights.

Former Chelsea and Inter Milan coach Mourinho admitted it was tough to re-focus his players' minds.

"It isn't easy, but I don't think it's easy for them or for us. You come focused and ready to play, you're waiting and waiting and you don't play. You leave and you don't know when you're going to play," added the Portuguese.

"It isn't an easy situation for either of the teams, but we've both overcome this difficulty and although we've arrived in conditions that don't lend themselves to top-level matches, in the end it's been a great football match."

Sergio Ramos came back into the starting XI after being unceremoniously dropped to the bench for last week's Champions League opener against Manchester City.

While the defender could not pinpoint the reason for being left out against Roberto Mancini's side, he was happy to return.

"I don't know if I was left out as a punishment. I think it was to do with technical aspects," he said. "I was eager to keep on picking up points and playing to my highest standard. I'm pleased to be back in the starting eleven."

Real are eight points behind La Liga leaders and fierce rivals Barcelona, but Ramos added: "It is a considerable advantage but we do have time to bring it back."