Lopetegui: No problem with Courtois’ footwork

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Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui has dismissed questions regarding Thibaut Courtois’ footwork following their 1-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday.

Courtois started in goal ahead of Keylor Navas and kept a clean sheet without being severely tested. However, media critics have highlighted his apparent discomfort when playing with the ball at his feet.

“He has conditions to be able to do it, he does it and surely he will improve more,” Lopetegui told a news conference.

“I would not dwell on a problem that does not exist. He has a good command of the ball, a good kick.

“When a start does not work out sometimes it’s not the goalkeeper’s fault.”

It was not the most comfortable of returns to league action for Los Blancos, who looked a far cry from the side which thumped AS Roma 3-0 in the UEFA Champions League in midweek. However, Lopetegui stressed that Real Madrid got what they wanted from their clash against Espanyol.

“They are two different competitions. The league has complex matches and this was one of them,” the former Spain coach added. “It’s what the league has. We knew it.

“The most positive thing is that the team has taken the three points, has known how to suffer, you also have to do it to win a league. The main reading is that we have known how to suffer because we also have not been able to close it.

“Espanyol closed us down, but also knew how to attack. But what has hurt us the most is losing control. The team have made a great effort and has achieved three very important points.”