Keylor Navas has promised his Real Madrid team-mates that he will not repeat the mistakes seen in Sunday’s LaLiga win over Real Betis.
The Costa Rica goalkeeper was lucky not to be sent off after only 21 minutes of the match at Santiago Bernabeu, after committing a poor challenge on Darko Brasanac to deny the Betis man a clear route to goal.
Navas then fumbled a shot from Antonio Sanabria into his own net to give Betis the lead three minutes later, although Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos struck to salvage a 2-1 victory.
The form of Navas has come under scrutiny this season, with persistent reports linking Madrid with moves for David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois as possible replacements for the 30-year-old for next season.
However, the former Levante man – who redeemed himself with a brilliant late save to deny Sanabria an equaliser – has vowed to recapture his best form.
“I stopped the shot [from Sanabria] and when I tried to catch it, my posture was not the best,” he said afterwards. “I touched the ball with my right hand but it was bad luck, it was ugly.
“They are circumstances which you don’t want to see but I had to keep going. I know my team-mates trust me, and I’ve promised them that these things will not happen again.
“I enter the pitch very calmly and I try to do my work. There are times when things do not go well but you have to keep a cool head. I had good and bad moments but I hope to return to good times.”
1 – Keylor Navas is the only goalkeeper to have scored an own goal in La Liga this season. Pressure.
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 12, 2017
Betis midfielder Dani Ceballos claimed afterwards that referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz admitted that he had seen contact between Navas and Brasanac but had not deemed it sufficient to warrant a dismissal.
“Mateu knows that there is contact,” he told Movistar+.”He told me. But he didn’t think there was enough [for a red card]. It was unfortunate for the referee but I think he’s tried not to favour anybody, just to do his best.”
When asked for his perspective, Navas simply replied: “I tried to play the ball with my head and we collided. My intention was to go for the ball.”
Betis boss Victor Sanchez was left fuming that Navas escaped a red card and felt his side deserved at least a point, especially given their efforts in the closing stages after Cristiano Piccini had been sent off for a second yellow card.
“I have a bad feeling because our solid effort didn’t translate into a positive result against a strong opponent,” he said to Movistar+. “I’m angry at Navas staying on the pitch, he was the last man standing – such a clear red card.
“We had good opportunities until the very end despite being one player down.”
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