Real Madrid managed to keep a clean sheet at last, as they beat Osasuna 2-0 on Thursday at Santiago Bernabeu. Coming in as a part of the swap deal with Paris Saint Germain, Alphonse Areola (swapped for Keylor Navas) made his debut in the Spanish league replacing Thibaut Courtois in a Real Madrid lineup that saw many changes after manager Zinedine Zidane seemed to rotate his players.
A clean sheet in his first game might already be better than the man whom he replaced. Courtois has seen clean sheets hard to come by since his switch to Madrid, one of the reasons for which, has also been the form of Real Madrid.
But Areola caught attention during the game when he stopped a cross by catching it with a single hand, making it look as simple as they would come.
Fans were impressed by his effort, taking to social media to comment not only the Frenchman, but also on his fellow goalkeeper Courtois.
I’m one save away from becoming an Alphonse Areola fan account
— Rez (@Asensiazo) September 25, 2019
Areola clean sheet? Courtois is finished
— #ZidaneOut (@mxdric) September 25, 2019
Areola has absolutely no business putting in a better shift in 45 minutes than Courtois has done in all of his games, yet here he is catching balls with one hand and I’m totally here for it.
— Xav Salazar (@XavsFutbol) September 25, 2019
Areola has certainly made the manager to think about him if not anything else, after the match which Real Madrid eventually won 2-0, thanks to goals from Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo. Zidane went on to praise the Brazilian duo after the match saying he was “happy” for them.
“I”m happy for them,” he said. “Sometimes we forget that they’re both teenagers and we saw the emotion of scoring at the Bernabeu.”
“I liked Rodrygo’s control, and scoring here for Viniciuswas very important so he’s very happy.”
The win saw Real Madrid go clear at the top of LaLiga, but it is too early in the season to see anything in it and that is what Zidane felt.
“We’re leaders but it means nothing,” Zidanetold after the match. “What matters is that we keep going on this track. We have to believe in what we do. We’ll have complicated times.”