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Courtois, Militao, Vinicius react after Real Madrid 2-0 Chelsea: “Were eager to score more”



Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio led Real Madrid to a special 2-0 win over Chelsea to put their side in the driver’s seat to advance to the semifinal of the UCL. Carlo Ancelotti chose to deploy his strongest available lineup for the critical encounter, and it is safe to say that it paid off great dividends.

The second leg at Stamford Bridge next week will decide who goes through. However, the gap in quality between the two sides was conspicuous on Wednesday and one knows the chances of Real Madrid letting an advantage slip is minimal.

Thibaut Courtois was one of the first to give his pitch-side reaction to the result and highlighted why the 2-0 win was a great result though many felt the team should have pushed for more.

“When you’re playing against 10 you get the feeling we could have killed the tie with another goal or two. They could have headed away having snatched a goal in the final minute but Rüdiger put in a stunning block.”

The goalkeeper acknowledged that Los Blancos had golden chances to extend their lead on the night to kill off the tie, but instead used that as an impetus to push his men for the second leg next week.

“It was a difficult game and 2-0 is a good result. We’re slightly frustrated not to have got the third or fourth goal and we know the return leg will be tough. I hope we don’t regret having failed to score another.”

He then commented on the vital saves he was forced to make on the night, the first set of which came in the opening minutes when Chelsea mounted a strong start. Later on, he again sprung to action when the English side pushed for an equaliser when a goal down.

“They started well with some good counter-attacks but I managed to make a couple of good stops before the goal. At 1-1, it would have been a blow mentally, I’m pleased with my save from Sterling, I did well to keep it out.”

Courtois has words of praise for the four defenders ahead of him and their contribution to the clean sheet on the night.

“We put in a complete performance from a defensive perspective and we didn’t allow them many chances, aside from in the final minute. We should have kept the ball better there in the last couple of minutes of the game to ensure they didn’t get the chance to score.”

Finally, the Belgian International spoke about the importance of mental fortune and complete determination for the second leg to prevent a collapse or scare like the one that unfolded last season.

“We have to approach the second leg as if it were a draw, like in the match against Barça in the Copa. We have to go into it with a winning mentality. If you go into it to speculate, they could pull two back and the tie will be all level like what happened last year.

“In that game we didn’t start well, they quickly took the lead and that can get them back into the tie. I hope we start the game better there and score first.”

Militao, Vinicius discuss win

Vinicius, Militao impressed vs Chelsea (Photo by Flor Tan Jun/Getty Images)

Eder Militao also gave a short interview after the game last night and focused his discussion around Vinicius Jr, who yet again, had made the difference on the night in both goals.

“Vinicius is a top-class player and it’s very difficult to defend against him. He’s playing at a very high level and is one of the best in the world.”

The final player who gave a post-match reaction was the Brazilian prodigy Vinicius himself. The man-of-the-match called the performance one of the teams best of the season and reasoned out his claim.

“We played very well, we pressured well and played as well as we did last season. It was one of the best games of the season so far and it’s great to win at home. Now it’s time to think about the second leg and remember that we have to keep a level head.

Speaking about why the forwards could not capitalise on the extra man to punish the Blues at Bernabeu, Vinicius attributed the failure to Chelsea’s defence.

“We had a lot of space and we wanted to score more goals, but we were playing against a great team. We were eager to score more goals because we know how difficult away games can be. Now it’s time to rest because we have to put in a good performance in the second leg.”

He then spoke passionately about the dedication he had to the club badge and what it meant to represent the prestigious crest at the highest level.

“Every player who pulls on this jersey know that playing in the Champions League is special at this club, especially at the Bernabéu when the fans get right up for it. At Madrid, you have to play with that desire in the Champions League.”

Finally, the youngster gave a quick talk about his fitness regime and how he keeps himself ready to play at all times with minimal to no drop in form or fitness.

“I train with Pintus and then at home with my personal trainer so I’m in the best possible shape for these games. At this stage of the season, other players tend to dip a bit and I always try and increase my levels.”

Source: Real Madrid website

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid superstar reveals how advice from Brazil legend helped him improve



Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Even with all the excitement around Kylian Mbappe, it is Vinicius Junior, who continues to be Real Madrid’s biggest star.

In the past few years, the Brazilian has witnessed substantial growth, notably establishing himself as one of the best players in world football.

Vinicius’ rapid rise to prominence has been backed by numbers as well, with the forward racking up 82 goals and 75 assists in 262 competitive matches for Real Madrid.

Vinicius on receiving advice from Ronaldo

In a recent media interaction, Vinicius Junior, when talking about his success at Real Madrid, revealed that the forward constantly receives advice from his compatriot and former Real Madrid legend Ronaldo.

Vinicius particularly pointed out Ronaldo’s advice in 1v1 situations and how it has helped him improve in such scenarios.

“Ronaldo always calls me and gives me advice, he teaches me so many things. Since he told me that his favourite thing is a 1v1 vs a GK, I thought about it a lot and started working on it really hard,” Vinicius said (h/t Madrid Zone).

Ronaldo regularly speaks with Vinicius. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

“Now, every time I’m in a 1v1 with a GK, I’m the calmest guy in the world. Ever since that conversation with Ronaldo, I stopped being afraid of making mistakes in a 1v1,” the forward added.

Vinicius has indeed witnessed an improvement in his 1v1 play in recent years, which has been reflected in his higher goalscoring numbers.

This season, the forward has netted 23 goals in all competitions while racking up 11 assists. His goalscoring prowess, coupled with his ability in 1v1 situations could prove to be critical as Real Madrid take on Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League final next month.

The Brazilian international, though, will be up against a challenging defensive duo of Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck, who have been able to keep the opposition attacks quiet this season.

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