PONFERRADA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 13: Raul Albiol of Real Madrid walks off after receiving a red card during the round of last 16 Copa del Rey first leg match between Ponferradina and Real Madrid at Estadio El Toralin on December 13, 2011 in Ponferrada, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Real Madrid put their offensive prowess on display last night away at Osasuna. Many Madridistas (including myself) were nervous about the match, but the team's trio of strikers put those doubts to rest as Real Madrid secured a fantastic 5-1 victory as well as three points.
The coach and players were on hand as usual to discuss their opinions on the solid victory.
The "Special One" was pleased (whew at least he's not going to go on another silent spree... for now) with the result of the match as well as the performances of the players:
"I like to see that all my men respond. It wasn't an easy game and both Granero and Albiol, who hadn't played for a long time, responded very well. This shows the strength of the group and of each individual player [...] It always makes us very happy to see men who don't usually play doing this well. As their coach, I wish to thank them for their performances."
"We hardly had any chances to score here last year, but Osasuna attacked more after we had a 3-0 advantage, leaving spaces for us to attack in. We therefore had many chances from counterattacks. It isn't normal to have so many chances here because games at this stadium are very even."
You can read his entire interview here.
The players were also available and gave their reactions in the mixed zone to the press.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored two goals, shared his views on the match while highlighting that his goal tally isn't as important as the overall success of the team:
"It was a very complicated match against a difficult opponent, but we're in good form and won. We're very happy because the team won. It is complicated to score five goals at this stadium and what happened here last year is behind us now [...] We know we must keep up the good work and focus on one game at a time. [...] My 37 goals are not on my mind because I only think about winning; we're leaders and we have to stay at the top."
Another goal scorer Gonzalo Higuain was also on hand, expressing his joy at the goals scored and the team's form:
"The coach had faith in me again and I managed to respond. I'm happy for the victory and with tallying 101 goals for this club. It makes me proud and incredibly happy [...] We have a great lead in the championship and we must keep up the good work till the end of the season. There are eight games left and we're calm to win the title we all want."
Midfield maestro Xabi Alonso discussed the team's performance:
"We gave a good performance because we worked hard for it, and we also scored great goals. We were aware of Osasuna's characteristics and it was a shame we conceded a strike so early in the first half. We knew how to play against them and showcased maturity at a difficult venue."
Defender Raul Albiol made his return after not playing for quite a while and received praise from his coach and his team-mates. Here's some of what he had to say:
"I was very happy about being a starter again. My teammates helped me a lot and the whole team should be congratulated for the match [...] We must continue to work this way because we're having a very good season. We knew the match against Osasuna would be one of our harder tests. We're very happy [...] I'm grateful for the coach's praise, but the team is what matters."
Real Madrid continue their march to the La Liga title, maintaining their lead over Barcelona. You can next see los Blancos in action this Wednesday in the Champions League in their second leg quarterfinal tie against APOEL. Join us back here for all the coverage of that match, and until then, Hala Madrid!
Raul Albiol received high praise from his coach and team mates regarding his performance after his first start for Real Madrid in a while. Do you think that praise was well earned?
Yes! Of course! So great to have him back! (125 votes)
I guess so. Didn't really pay attention to him on the field. (61 votes)
I think he could perform better. (19 votes)
He was playing? (7 votes)
212 total votes