Julen Lopetegui spoke to reporters after Real Madrid’s hard-fought 1-0 victory over Espanyol in the Bernabéu.
Espanyol: “It was a game flagged up in red, complicated because of the quality of the opposition, who had the whole week to prepare for the game. They played well, they’re very well organised… We knew it would be difficult, it was a very tough game. We were the better side in the first half and these were three important points.”
Fatigue after Champions League: “Yes, tiredness is a factor after two high-intensity games in three days and against an opponent who knows how to play football. Luckily we were able to get the three points, which is the most important thing. In the last 15 minutes we weren’t able to hold on to the ball for long periods. Post-Champions League games are always dangerous, we knew that.”
Ramos has been getting forward in attack a lot. Is that planned? “Sometimes these situations present themselves, someone wins the ball and the possibility to get up in attack is there. We haven’t spoken about it; they are spontaneous situations that crop up.”
"Courtois has the quality to play the ball out"
It seems that Courtois is uncomfortable with the ball at his feet… “He has the quality to be able to do it [play the ball out], he does it and I’m sure he’ll improve even more. I won’t dwell on a problem that doesn’t exist. He’s good on the ball and has a good clearance. When a move from the back doesn’t work out it isn’t always the keeper’s fault.”
Odriozola and Llorente: “They took their chance well. When players that haven’t played come in, like those two, Nacho… it’s good news for us. The number of games we have means we have to make these decisions.”
Vinicius: “We included him in the squad because 48 hours ago there were players who couldn’t even train fully and we took the decisions we needed to. In the end he didn’t put his kit on because [Fede] Valverde did. There’s nothing more to it.”