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Friday, November 27, 2020

Real Madrid’s 2011/12 history makers: Peak Mourinho

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Real Madrid LaLiga Santander records for points and goals

Mourinho at San Mames after winning LaLiga in 2011/12
Mourinho at San Mames after winning LaLiga in 2011/12
Pablo GarcíaMARCA

Real Madrid have won 33 LaLiga Santander titles throughout their history but not many stand out more than the one that came during the 2011/12 season.

Jose Mourinho‘s side took down Pep Guardiola’s dominant Barcelona and broke a whole host of records along the way.

Los Blancos won 100 points and scored 121 goals – both LaLiga Santander records – and clinched the crown on this day eight years ago.

We’ve summarised that season in eight key points.

Fabio Coentrao was the ostentatious signing during the summer of 2011 at 30 million euros, with youngsters Raphael Varane and Nuri Sahin also arriving.

There were various departures, such as Sergio Canales, Pedro Leon, Ezequiel Garay and Fernando Gago, who all didn’t fit into the coach’s plans.

The core of the squad had already been built in the years beforehand.

Barcelona were the team to beat on all fronts, meaning the Clasico rivalry got even more heated.

The hostility between Mourinho and Guardiola was one thing, but the division between the players on the pitch was something else.

On one side you had Alvaro Arbeloa, Xabi Alonso and Cristiano Ronaldo and on the other you had Gerard Pique, Xavi and Lionel Messi.

Barcelona won the first battle of the season, lifting the Supercopa de Espana in August.

Los Blancos flattered to deceive in the opening weeks of the LaLiga Santander season, losing at Levante on Matchday 3 and drawing at Racing Santander on Matchday 4.

However, Mourinho and his men reacted, winning 10 games in a row to move to the top of the table – where they stayed until the end of the campaign.

That 10-game winning run was brought to an end at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in December as Barcelona came away with a 3-1 victory.

The result saw the doubts return, but the team reacted again, winning 6-2 at Sevilla and 5-1 against Granada at the Bernabeu in their next two fixtures.

While they remained at the top of the LaLiga Santander table, Los Blancos began to drop points more frequently in the final months of the season.

After draws against Malaga and Villarreal, a stalemate at home to Valencia in April raised more question marks with a visit to the Camp Nou on the horizon.

Sami Khedira opened the scoring for the visitors in that crucial clash at the Camp Nou, only for Barcelona to hit back with an equaliser in the second half.

Nevertheless, Real Madrid reacted well again and retook the lead inside three minutes thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo.

That established a seven-point lead at the top for Mourinho‘s men.

Real Madrid needed just six points from their final four games to clinch the title and picked up the first three with victory over Sevilla at the Bernabeu.

Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Gonzalo Higuain made sure the trophy was heading to Madrid when they netted in a 3-0 win over Athletic Club on May 2.

Mourinho‘s history makers weren’t able to make the most of their domestic momentum in Europe that season.

Bayern Munich dumped them out of the Champions League on penalties in the semi-final when Los Blancos were still stuck on nine European Cups.

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