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Real Madrid - Espanyol

Lopetegui: “We put in real effort and got three crucial points”

NEWS | 22/09/2018 | Javier García

“Games after Champions League duties are tough and we know that”, explained the coach.
Julen Lopetegui spoke to the press at the Santiago Bernabéu after the game against Espanyol. The madridista coached looked back at his team’s win: “We suffered in the second half, it was a tough, complex game. The other side did well, they are well structured and organised at both ends. They have a brilliant coach and some real talent. We missed our chances for a second goal when it mattered”.
“We have clear chances in the second half, but it was a nervy final stretch. It was emotionally and physically draining after having played in the week. Games like this after the Champions League always present issues, and we are aware of that”.
Comparisons to the Champions League games
“They are two different competitions. LaLiga poses challenges along the way, that can be tough. The main positive is that we got the three points and we knew how to suffer. You have to do that if you want to win LaLiga and we’re happy to do that. We knew how to get a result in a tough situation against great rivals, despite not killing the game off”.
Ramos joining the attack
“These situations happen in a game, it’s part of the sport. It was not planned, it was spontaneous and just happened in the game. Not everything is pre-empted in football”.


“Our opposition are free to play as they wish. There will be teams who come here to shut up shop. Espanyol are good at closing a game down but they attack well and keep the ball too. What was most damaging for us today was how we lost control of the ball for certain spells. Given the circumstances the team made a fantastic effort today and we’ve picked up three hugely important points”.
Courtois playing from the back
“He’s got the ability to do it and he does. I’m sure he’ll keep improving. I’m not going to focus on problems that don’t exist. He’s got a great kick on him, the opposition put the pressure on us today”.
Minutes for less regular starters 
“There are positives to be taken from the appearance of players like Odriozola and Llorente. Nacho put in a very complete performance but was limited a bit by the yellow card. The competition we’ve got over these coming weeks forces us to make decisions”.
“We brought him in because 48 hours ago we had guys who still weren’t training and we had to assess them all this morning. It was a sporting decision and ultimately he didn’t get on. Let’s see if he plays with Castilla tomorrow”. 
Spanish players
“I don’t look at the guys’ nationalities when I’m picking my line-up. We’ve got a lot of good Spanish players. There are a lot of them who know this place well and that adds an extra something, but I don’t consider it when choosing the starting eleven”.