Real Madrid: 4 takeaways from a third straight El Clasico triumph

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois
Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images) /

Thibaut Courtois plays the hero

Real Madrid failed to keep a clean sheet again, but Thibaut Courtois cannot be blamed in the slightest for the goal an unmarked Oscar Mingueza dispatched after Antoine Griezmann’s clever dummy move. In fact, Courtois must be celebrated by Madridistas for yet another heroic display, as he is the reason why Real held on to their 2-1 lead in the end.

Even before Real scored their first goal of the match, the world-class Belgian made a fantastic intervention, getting a hand to stop a low cross that was seemingly destined to lead to an opening goal for the visitors.

In the second half, Courtois’ competence on the ball, solid handling, and clutch stops in the dying moments helped ensure Real Madrid would win. Courtois made big stops to close both halves of the match, and the common thread with Courtois during the past two seasons has been his ability to keep Real in matches.

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Without Courtois, Real are not true title contenders, and we saw a glimpse of that in this game. Every elite team needs a top goalkeeper, and Real Madrid are fighting among the elites in Spain and Europe as a whole because of what Courtois brings to the table. And Madridistas have certainly noticed how vital he is to their success.