Keylor Navas hails Hugo Lloris, ignores speculation over Real Madrid future
Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas praised the "excellent" saves made by Tottenham counterpart Hugo Lloris in Tuesday's 1-1 Champions League draw at the Bernabeu.
Raphael Varane's own goal under pressure from Harry Kane gave the Premier League side the lead after 20 minutes, with Cristiano Ronaldo equalising from the penalty spot before half-time after Toni Kroos had been felled by Serge Aurier.
Lloris and Navas came to the fore after the break, with the Spurs captain denying Karim Benzema and Ronaldo, and Navas stopping Kane and Christian Eriksen from getting a late winner for the visitors.
Speaking in the Bernabeu mixed zone after the game, the Costa Rica international said that Lloris' saves and good defending in general from Mauricio Pochettino's men had frustrated his side.
"When the opposition sit back it makes things tough, Lloris also pulled off some excellent saves," Navas said. "It's tough, it was a game in which we created chances, but often things don't pan out as you would like them to."
Navas' stop from Kane in the second half, when the England captain was through one-on-one, was also vital. "I am happy to have made some saves," he said. "When I saw [Kane] was coming on his own I tried to get in the right position. I always try and help my teammates as much as I can."
Madrid now have just three wins from seven games at the Bernabeu in all competitions so far in 2017-18, while having a 100 percent record away from home. And Navas accepted Zinedine Zidane's side were having trouble breaking down teams who sit deep and defend.
"We're a team who like to take risks, go out to score goals and win every game," he said. "When a team sit back with 11 players, we create fewer chances. We must accept that, and try and improve in every game. When teams are well positioned it is more difficult."
Navas, 30, said he was unconcerned about speculation that Madrid are aiming to sign Athletic Bilbao's outstanding young goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga next summer.
"This is nothing new for me," he said. "Those who really love me, are with me always, are the ones who are important for me. I am many years here listening to the same thing. So I do not worry about it. As long as I am here I will fight for my place."
Madrid vice-captain Marcelo also spoke in the Bernabeu mixed zone, and accepted that Benzema would be "upset" at not having taken the clear chances he had over the 90 minutes.
"These things happen, some days forwards miss chances, other days they help you by scoring a few goals," Marcelo said. "[Benzema] will be upset at not having scored, but more upset as we did not win the game."
During an abrupt exchange with local reporters, the Brazil left-back also admitted to frustration at not being able to pinpoint the reason for Madrid's poor home record at the Bernabeu this season.
"We have to win every game, not just away, but at home too," he said. "I don't know what is going on, why we have not won these games. We are here running like crazy, trying to win every game."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan