Cristiano Ronaldo does not like Jose Mourinho’s tactics which are built on rope a dope tactics where one defends till the opponent keels over in exhaustion and then comes the sucker punch.
Except CR7 is exactly the sort of player suited for Mourinho’s counterattacking style because he likes to run hard and direct at defenders, employ his stepovers, and unleash his shot in a flash. 0 to 60 in a nanosecond. It brought him success at Man Utd. There is no patience nor guile in for Barca’s tiki taka. He would develop a permanent pout realizing he serves as one of the many nodes in Barca’s highly developed parallel scheme.
On Wednesday evening he had the perfect opportunity to practice his counterattacking skills. Carles Puyol at makeshift left back and at 33 years, a vintage Studebaker to guard against a sleek purring Bugatti. He could have made Barca play like a man down even with stunted service. And yet, there was hardly a time when CR7 got the better of the veteran. His set pieces were horribly off blasting into the wall or spooning it into the stratosphere.
At the other end Leo Messi went about his destiny with greatness in the usual way.
Mourinho’s tactics become a convenient punching bag for an underwhelming performance. But it is all part of a blame game being played out from the manager down.