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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 11, 2006

Zaragoza taunt 'moaning' Espanyol before Cup final

MADRID, April 11 (Reuters) - Real Zaragoza coach Victor Munoz has described his opposite number as one of life's moaners on the eve of the King's Cup final in Madrid.

Espanyol boss Miguel Angel Lotina has complained about the lack of preparation time his players have had, described his side as underdogs and threatened to play a defensive line-up to foil Zaragoza's impressive strike force.

'It is the problem with Lotina. He is always moaning and playing the victim,' Munoz told a news conference on Tuesday.

'It is no secret that he is worried about our forwards and playmakers, but we are worried about theirs as well.'

Zaragoza's strike force of Argentine Diego Milito and Brazilian Ewerthon has been one of the revelations of the season in Spain notching up 25 goals between them in the league.

Their most devastating display came in the Cup semi-final first leg against Real Madrid when Milito scored four and Ewerthon bagged two in a crushing 6-1 victory.

Behind them in midfield are the impressive Oscar and Cani, who was included in Monday's Spain squad get-together ahead of the World Cup.

Having already seen off Atletico Madrid, league leaders Barcelona and Real on the way to the final Munoz challenged Espanyol to be positive on Wednesday.

He said: 'How the game develops will depend on how adventurous Espanyol are. We have nothing to hide and will play an open game as we always do.'

Lotina, making his first appearance in a King's Cup final, refused to be drawn into responding to Munoz's jibes.

He saw the final as a welcome diversion from the pressures of the Primera Liga where his inconsistent side are two points above the relegation places.

'Being here is like a holiday for me, and the game is something to be enjoyed,' Lotina told a news conference.

'I would like to have come here as favourite but that would have meant we were better which isn't the case.'

He was quick to remind Zaragoza that they were underdogs in the 2004 final against Real Madrid.

'Zaragoza won then although Real had started as favourites.'