Thibault Courtois has insisted that Real Madrid are not losing hope of catching up with La Liga leaders Barcelona and retaining their title.
It took the collapse of Barcelona and successive wins against Madrid to turn things around at the top of the Spanish top flight.
Although Madrid won 2-0 against Celta on Saturday and reduced Barcelona’s lead to eight points, the Catalans had a home game against Atlético Madrid on Sunday.
Had Barcelona won this, their lead would have reverted to 11 points with eight games remaining. Even if Barcelona loses, their advantage will still be such that they will remain firm favourites.
However, Madrid sees no reason to lose hope, with goalkeeper Courtois telling DAZN: “We will fight until the last game, until it becomes mathematically impossible.”
He said he was “sorry” that Real have dropped points from time to time this season, but made it clear that Champions League commitments could weigh on results domestically.
@thibautcourtois: “Hello Madrid players, very happy with the victory here at home. More Girona! Big hugs, Hala Madrid!” #Real MadridCelta pic.twitter.com/Ylqrp1BgkS
— Real Madrid FC (@realmadriden) April 22, 2023
Last season, Madrid won the Champions League and La Liga double and this season they again reached the semi-finals in Europe, with home and away games against Manchester City in May, as well as the Copa del Rey final against Osasuna. .
That cup match will take place on May 6 and Courtois said: “We want to win the next three matchdays and when it comes time for the cup final we will see how far we have come.
“We want to keep winning and feel good ahead of the Champions League. The main thing is that we are fine. I hope we finish the season well.”
Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has made five changes to his starting line-up, four days after his side’s 2-0 win over Chelsea, which ended in a 4-0 aggregate quarter-final victory over his former club in the Champions League .
Marco Asensio, one of those put on the field, scored the first goal and his corner allowed Eder Militao to head the second.
6- @realmadridenEder Militao has scored more headers than any other defender in the top five European leagues this season in all competitions (6 out of 7). Hammer. pic.twitter.com/86ec6KN9ym
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 22, 2023
“Building an XI is difficult because we are lucky that we have a connected locker room,” Ancelotti said. “We have to alternate because this part of the season is very demanding.”
The veteran coach was concerned about the playing surface and said the Santiago Bernabéu’s pitch “needs to improve” while Ancelotti also paid tribute to Eduardo Camavinga, who excelled at left-back after the 20-year-old was recently transferred from midfield.
Camavinga had 113 touches and completed six of his seven dribbles, both of which were the most he has achieved in a La Liga game for Madrid.
“He has exceptional qualities. He has energy and he is full,” said Ancelotti. “So he can play successfully in any position.”