Paul White, Associated Press
In this photo taken Wednesday Jan. 18, 2012, Real Madrid's Pepe from Portugal, left looks down at F.C. Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina a moment before stamping on his hand as Jose Maria Callejon, centre protests to the referee after receiving a yellow card for his foul on Messi. Real Madrid's coach Jose Mourinho warned Real Madrid defender Pepe could face punishment for stamping on Messi's hand in Wednesday's 2-1 Copa del Rey loss to Barcelona. Pepe has a history of aggressive play in the "clasico" series, including a red card in last season's Champions League semifinals, and the hot-tempered Portugal defender stepped on Messi's left hand in the 68th minute of the match. Even Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney tweeted: "Pepe. What an idiot. Sometimes people wind u up."
MADRID — Another loss to Barcelona has piled pressure on Jose Mourinho, with support for the Real Madrid coach ebbing after another ill-tempered and ineffective display against its biggest rival.
Barcelona rallied for a 2-1 Copa del Rey victory on Wednesday for its 10th victory in 13 games, and sixth win against Madrid since the Portuguese coach took over in 2010.
Mourinho's defensive tactics and use of centerback Pepe in midfield did little to stop Barcelona's attack, while his aggressive approach and lack of offensive inspiration drew jeers from the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Even daily sports paper Marca, a staunch Madrid supporter, labeled Madrid's performance "woeful" and Pepe's stamp on Lionel Messi's hand "repugnant."