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Courtois: “The tactical change in the second half allowed us to press better”

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Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

The biggest talking point after today’s Derby was about the tactical changes and substitutions that Zidane made at half-time. The players, and coach, were vocal about the much-needed change. Zidane said after the game that he got it wrong to start, and that he had to react at the interval.

Here is a quote round-up from the players.


Vinicius Jr

“In the second half, Lucas Vázquez and I worked really well and we managed to change the dynamic of the game. We’re one big group, the gaffer gets us all involved and we did a great job today. It was very special to win this derby”.

”I’ll keep working hard, like everybody here does, to get more minutes and keep winning games. I’d like to thank the fans for their support, it was hugely important today”.

Thibaut Courtois

“Our defensive performance was very good in the second half, after they caused us problems in the first period. I have to talk to, and sometimes shout at my teammates. We have to be focused on the game, experience it, and win it. I was alert in case I was called into action late on, but it didn’t come to anything. I’m thrilled to have kept a clean sheet and picked up another win”.

“The gaffer changed from a 4-5-1 to a 4-3-3 in the second half. He went for something which didn’t quite come off in the first period, and the change at half-time allowed us to press better. We didn’t let them play out, they resorted to long balls. We did a great job defensively and that’s why they didn’t create much. We then got a good goal ourselves”.

“We need to keep winning games. Our rivals are as strong as ever. A lot of people expected a draw but winning and keeping a clean sheet is great preparation for the Copa on Thursday, we need to keep this up till the end”.

Raphael Varane

“We have to change things around and be more attacking. Zidane pushed us on and in the second half we did well, more on the wings. We have many options on the bench and today we were boosted by Lucas”.

”It is a process, at the start of the season it was tough, but we believe in our work and cannot let up. We have a fantastic group and everyone contributes. We are a real team”.