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Courtois: “We had to give it our all and dig in, and that's what we did"

NEWS | 14/04/2021 | Eduardo Olivera

“The team displayed an incredible level from a defensive perspective", said Nacho.
Real Madrid clinched qualification for the Champions League semi-finals in Liverpool and Courtois and Nacho, two of the key men at Anfield, discussed the clash. The goalkeeper stated: “We're happy to be through to the semi-finals. It was a very tough game but you know that's what to expect when you come to Anfield. We were able to dig in, we defended really well and I made some saves. We could have perhaps been a bit better with the ball and finish the game off up top but it wasn't our day from an offensive perspective".

"We came into today off the back of two really difficult games and maybe we just lacked the legs in attack but defensively we ran as if we had twelve men on the pitch. It was unbelievable. Everyone has to put that effort in when we're taken to the limit. We had to dig in and give it our all and that's what we did. That's crucial for the team's desire and in order to show we're a unit".

His saves
“I made two good saves in the first half. One from Salah that was difficult at my feet and could always slip through my legs. It was a good stop right at the start. Then I pulled one out of the top corner from Milner. That seemed to knock them off their stride a bit and in the end they didn't score any, it became more difficult for them. Right at the start of the second half then I had to make another save. If that one goes in, they'd have had the whole second half to get another. We defended well, Militão made two fantastic blocks as well. I'm pleased with our defensive efforts”.

His current form
“I feel great, as I say, we work very hard. I want to win many titles with Real Madrid, that's the best there is and it's why I give it my all in every match. I don't know whether or not I'm the best, there are lots of good goalkeepers, all playing at the top level and I believe I am one of them. I'm very happy to be leaving here having kept a clean sheet. I'm looking forward now because we've got a big week coming up with three games in six days and then it's the semi-final".

“It's a special game against my former club. Since Tuchel came in, they've played 3-5-2, 3-4-3 and they're doing well, not conceding many goals. It's going to be a tough match but I hope we can come through it. We're hungry to win another Champions League and we have to try and go into it on a high. We might get some of our injured players back but everyone who played today showed we're a fantastic team. Hala Madrid".

Nacho: “The team performed brilliantly”
“We knew we had a good advantage from the first leg but we also knew they'd come out strong. They had chances to go ahead but the team was able to dig in for the full 90 minutes. We were superb defensively. We were a bit less fluid up top than in the first leg but that's normal. Defending a 3-1 result, it's to be expected in these games".

Nacho: "Militão and I have played three hugely demanding games in a row and we've performed at a really high level".

“I just try to do my job the best I can. As I said the other day, this is the best season of my career. I’m feeling really good, I’m full of confidence and enjoying helping the team. That’s the most important thing. We’re achieving our goals, like making it through to the next round”.

Absence of Ramos and Varane
“Me and Militão are part of the squad and we’re here for a reason. We’re well prepared for games like the one tonight. We’ve played three of the most demanding games together and we’ve produced high-level performances. So I’m pleased for myself, for Militão and especially for the whole team”.

Team’s form
“It’s an unusual season, with matches every three days. You barely get time to enjoy the victories, but that’s the fixture list. As the gaffer said, perhaps physically we’re not as strong as other years because of the fixture list, but by winning and making it through to the next round it makes things easier and motivates us for what is to come”.

Favourites in semi-finals
“We weren’t favourites when we were going to play Liverpool. We just want to achieve our goal, which is to get to the next round. Now we have Chelsea, who are also a tough team like Liverpool. We’ll go into the match full of confidence. We want give them a good game and reach the final”.