Real Madrid managed to hold Liverpool to a 0-0 draw at Anfield in the second leg of their Champions League clash and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was one of the stars for the Spanish side.
Madrid went into this game with a two-goal cushion so it was quite natural that Zidane will ask his team to sit back and soak up all the pressure, then possibly try to hit on the counter.
And while they did manage to pull off a fine defensive display at Anfield, Liverpool did have their moments in front of goal. But it was Thibaut Courtois who closed the doors promptly.
The keeper made as many as four saves during the match, two of which seemed to really rattle Liverpool’s confidence, in terms of finishing off chances.
Courtois said after the match: “It was a very tough game but you know that’s what to expect when you come to Anfield. We were able to dig in, we defended really well and I made some saves. We could have perhaps been a bit better with the ball and finish the game off up top but it wasn’t our day from an offensive perspective.
“We came into today off the back of two really difficult games and maybe we just lacked the legs in attack but defensively we ran as if we had twelve men on the pitch. It was unbelievable.
“Everyone has to put that effort in when we’re taken to the limit. We had to dig in and give it our all and that’s what we did. That’s crucial for the team’s desire and in order to show we’re a unit
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“I made two good saves in the first half. One from Salah that was difficult at my feet and could always slip through my legs.
“It was a good stop right at the start. Then I pulled one out of the top corner from Milner. That seemed to knock them off their stride a bit and in the end they didn’t score any, it became more difficult for them.”
Going into the second leg, Thibaut Courtois had a fine record against Liverpool, conceding just one goal at Anfield and the keeper had suffered only a single defeat in nine outings against the Merseyside outfit while he was playing for Chelsea.
So clearly, it would have taken a lot to get past the shot-stopper this time around as well and in all honestly, the Liverpool forwards were not at the best of their forms yesterday.
The aura of players like Sadio Mane, Firmino and Mo Salah has faded away this season and suddenly it looks like they are out of ideas in the final third.