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Courtois, Carvajal react after Man City 4-0 Real Madrid: “We lost to a great team”



Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti’s side fell short by a sizeable margin to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in the second leg of the UCL semifinal. It was a forgettable outing for all players in white as they put up helpless faces throughout.

Thibaut Courtois was Real Madrid’s best player by far against Manchester City last night. The game may have ended 4-0 in the English team’s favour, but it could have been far worse if not for the Belgian.

The shot-stopper spoke to the press after his side’s elimination from the competition and did not hold back on criticising the mistakes Real Madrid made on the night that led to them falling short.

“They really pressed us high from the start, not letting us play the ball out and they pressured with a lot of players so we were penned back in our area. We dealt with it pretty well early on but we didn’t manage to impose ourselves, create chances or cause them any problems. They were very comfortable and they got the goal. We struggled to get into the game.”

There was barely any silver lining for Los Blancos at Etihad, but one moment when the game could have potentially turned was when Toni Kroos slapped a banger towards Ederson. The German’s shot sailed towards the goal with menace but struck the woodwork, and Courtois highlighted the same in his interview.

“If Kroos’ shot had gone in, perhaps it would have altered the course of the game. Their second goal came after an unfortunate rebound and those kind of things have gone against us this year. We started pretty well after half-time but we struggled to create chances today and we didn’t pass the ball cleanly.”

The 4-0 drubbing is a difficult pill to swallow for both the players and the manager. More than the defeat, it is the manner in which they went down that will haunt Real Madrid. Courtois gave his analysis of the game saying,

“We’ll have to watch it back because it’s not easy to see the game from the goal line. We took a while to make any fouls, the second balls all fell to them and we missed a lot of easy passes. Anyway, it’s not easy to hurt them if we spend the whole time chasing the ball.”

“We had to win the ball back more quickly and stream forward because they always had seven or eight guys in our half but we just didn’t manage to do it.”

Finally, the Belgian expressed his disappointment at the result and insisted that the manner of the defeat made a big difference in the dressing room.

“The way we lost is the worst thing. You can lose a game in extra time or on penalties, 2-1 or 1-0. That can hurt if you’ve given your all on the pitch. But it’s a very heavy defeat. We have to be proud of the way we’ve come this far.

“It’s tough to fall short just before the final, but we lost to a great team. In the English League, they are unstoppable. This wasn’t our best game and if we’re not at our best this happens.”

Dani Carvajal too started the game on Wednesday but had to endure a rough time against Jack Grealish. He praised Manchester City for their display and said they were the better team throughout.

“The opposition were better in this game from start to finish. They subdued us and that is reflected in the result. We were a little bit on the back foot early on. When the team took a step forward after the break, we had a good spell.”

The right-back took a moment to appreciate the support of the fans in the stadium and promised them better things to come. Speaking about the support, he said,

“I want to thank the fans for coming out. We’ll come back stronger and work very hard to get back to another final. This stadium is very difficult and they are strong at home. After the first leg, we thought we were going to play a better game on the ball.”

Despite being out of contention in La Liga now, Real Madrid still have four league games to play. Carvajal urged his teammates to fight back strong in the games to come and end the season on a high.

“There are still games left, we will try to finish as high as possible in the league and respect our opponents. On 4 June we will evaluate everything. It’s a shame not to be in another final.

“Our opponents were better and we have to congratulate them. We have to keep our heads up because there is still a lot to do and we have people who want to achieve great success.”

Source: Real Madrid website

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid winger has two future destinations on table for next season



Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid set out on a mission to change the minds of Dani Ceballos, Marco Asensio and Nacho Fernandez earlier this week. After all, all three players were contemplating a departure from the club for a gross lack of minutes.

Los Blancos’ latest approach seems to have impacted Ceballos’ position in a positive fashion. However, Fabrizio Romano reveals that it has not changed Marco Asensio’s mind.

According to the Italian journalist, the Spaniard will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season as a free agent.

Of the numerous options on his table, he sees Aston Villa and PSG to be the best bets. In fact, Villa have already submitted their opening bid for the player as revealed by Fabrizio Romano once again.

After a dramatic final day of action in the Premier League, Aston Villa finished in the European spots and will participate in the UEFA Conference League next season. While a move to the English club would be a steep step down, it will see Asensio receive regular playing time.

Paris-Saint Germain, on that front, appears the more probable destination. The French club are close to losing both Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr ahead of the new season, and Asensio would thus fit in as a starting quality winger. Moreover, they offer Champions League football.

The Spaniard’s role at Real Madrid this season has not been minor by any means considering his contributions. In 30 La Liga appearances, the 27-year-old has scored nine goals and provided six assists in addition to creating nine big chances and averaging 1.4 key passes per game.

However, that does not satisfy the winger who wishes to be a starter week in and week out. His departure in June appears to be now written in stone, and the club should feel hard done to not make a penny of his move.

Many in Los Blancos’ administration see Brahim Diaz as a direct replacement for the Spanish international if he leaves. Needless to say, the AC Milan star’s future will closely depend on Asensio’s situation.

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