Thibaut Courtois made the decision himself to go up for the late corner that saw Real Madrid snatch a last-gasp draw with Valencia, according to head coach Zinedine Zidane.
Madrid were staring down the barrel of a second LaLiga defeat of the season courtesy of Carlos Soler’s 78th-minute striker at Mestalla.
However, Belgium goalkeeper Courtois saw a late header saved by Jaume Domenech and Karim Benzema lashed home to ensure Madrid returned to the capital with a point.
“He decided to go up and this shows that we wanted more, that we never give up,” Zidane told a news conference.
“The equaliser is something that we put a lot of effort into. This is Real Madrid, a team that never gives up. They believed they could do it and they did.
“With everything we did, I think we deserved to score a goal that compensated with the effort of the team.
“Football is like this and you can’t complain. You have to accept what football gives you. A point is little reward.
“In the end, we got a big result, but it’s a shame because we had a very good first half. They were better going forward in the second half and it was even.”
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) December 15, 2019
Madrid were without Casemiro, who was rested against Valencia – likely due to the defensive midfielder being one yellow card away from suspension ahead of a midweek Clasico against Barcelona.
Zidane explained: “He wasn’t meant to play and those that did did very well. Casemiro had played lots of games and I’m very happy that we did everything without him.
“We drew, but I think we deserved a bit more. He’d played 21 matches and he had to rest, but I was only thinking about the Valencia game.”
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