In Courtois is the League

The whites have recovered the defensive security that allowed them to win the last league with the Belgian at his best. He made five stops against Valladolid.


Among the defects that Real Madrid has shown this season was the lack of defensive reliability. During much of the season it has been possible to see how teams without great offensive potential have been able to see the door against the white club with relative ease. Valencia scored four, Shakhtar, three at Di Stéfano, and many others have been able to beat Courtois twice in the same game, such as Betis or Borussia Mönchengladbach. However, this problem seems to be a thing of the past.

Zidane has been forced to restructure the team and has put the foundations on defense. It is the same formula that allowed him to win the last league, when after the confinement Madrid only received six goals in eleven games and two of them were on the last day, with the title already decided. In addition, he has done so with the added difficulty of the continuous injuries. Among them, Sergio Ramos, capital in recent achievements and leader of the group. Along these lines, only Varane and Mendy are spared. The rest have suffered different ailments throughout the season. Currently, in addition to the captain, Carvajal, Marcelo, Odriozola and Militao are on leave.

Courtois and Zizou's guard

Courtois is one of the main reasons for Madrid's strength. The Belgian has 55 saves this season, 13 of them in the last five games. Against Valladolid he saved the furniture by making five stops of merit. Among them, he saved a double chance from the rival in the first half and, in the second, he stopped a shot from point-blank range by Orellana correcting an error by Mendy. His numbers bring him closer to revalidating the Zamora he already achieved last season.

His arrival in 2018 aroused some suspicion. The good work of Keylor Navas during his time in white and his first months, which were certainly difficult, raised doubts. However, in the two and a half seasons he has been at Madrid, he has earned the respect of the dressing room and the fans. He is already one of the pillars of the team. "I am not surprised by his saves. It is a great goal," commented his teammate Casemiro after winning the Pucela.

The numbers in recent days show that Madrid has thrown the lock. Since the defeat against Levante on January 30 (1-2), the Whites have played four games in which they have barely conceded a goal (against Huesca at El Alcoraz). Chain three leaving a clean sheet (Getafe, Valencia and Valladolid), something that he had only been able to achieve once this season (in December against Sevilla, Borussia and Atlético de Madrid). It has been placed as the second least thrashed team in the competition with three more goals than Sevilla and Atleti, and having one more match than the colchonero team.

As for the rest of the defensive line, Zidane has found a formation that, without Ramos or Carvajal, is giving him full guarantees. Lucas Vázquez occupies the right. The Galician has reinvented himself and is already one of the best right-back of the season in the League. On the left, Mendy, a player who has the same facility to make mistakes and to correct them later. The central couple is made up of Varane and Nacho. The Frenchman has recovered his best version with the youth squad, who returns to show his face when the team needs him most. The four will repeat in the decisive match in Bergamo against Atalanta.

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