clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Courtois: “The first half was tough, but we dominated the second one”

The goalkeeper talked to the press after the team’s 0-3 win.

Celtic FC v Real Madrid: Group F - UEFA Champions League Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois discussed the 0-3 win against Celtic with the media. Courtois kept a clean sheet and explained how the team turned things around after a poor first half.

“The first half was tough going, they made a very strong start and there was an amazing atmosphere inside here. Within the first couple of minutes, they’d already had two corners, a shot that Militão or the post got in the way of to save us. We then began to find our tempo and worked out how best to handle them and we improved as the minutes ticked by. We dominated things in the second half. It was a deserved win. Had they scored early on, it would have been more of a struggle for us,” he said.

The goalkeeper was asked about Antonio Rudiger and Eden Hazard, who had to come off the bench early in the game to replace the injured Eder Militao and Karim Benzema.

“We have a lot of players within the squad and are in good shape fitness-wise. We had to get used to their high-tempo football. The ball went out of play and there was immediately another ball in play and even on the corners, they got the game moving very quickly so that we hardly had the chance to catch our breath. They played better in the first half, but Vini Jr. had a good chance. We were better after the break. Rüdiger and Eden, who provided an assist and got a goal, played an important part for us tonight,” he added.

Courtois is one of Hazard’s closest friends within the squad and he was asked about his performance.

“It was important for him to feel right. He was downhearted after the penalty miss against Celta and then he missed the last couple of LaLiga games. He’s a wonderful player, he’s got so much quality. The first five minutes were tough but once he got up to speed with the game he played a key role for us. The goal and the assist show what he’s all about. He’ll be pleased, he’s shown the coach he can take more opportunities,” he said.

Courtois wrapped up his media appearance answering a question about Benzema’s injury.

“We don’t know much about it. When I picked up the ball from a corner, I sent it up to him quickly and that was when he felt something in the knee. I don’t think it’s anything serious because Karim would rather come off if he feels a twinge. I hope it’s nothing but we have other players who can operate in that position,” he concluded.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Managing Madrid Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Real Madrid news from Managing Madrid