Karanka praises depleted Real defence

Real Madrid assistant manager Aitor Karanka is happy that his side managed to keep a clean sheet in their 2-o win over Celta Vigo despite missing several key defenders.

Well, that seems a little unfair on Ramos

By ESPNSTAR.com staff

Los Blancos started the game without the injured Marcelo, Fabio Coentrao and Alvaro Arbeloa but were never really troubled by a lacklustre Celta side and picked up the victory courtesy of goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The win helped Real, who have suffered a stuttering start to their La Liga campaign so far, keep pace with leaders Barcelona, although they are still eight points behind the Catalans.

Karanka was quick to label the win as 'important', while also praising the Real backline for coping with Celta's attacks.

"As the manager [Jose Mourinho] said, after what happened during the week, he knew exactly where each player was going to play," Karanka was quoted as saying by the official Real Madrid website.

"Celta only had one header at the end of the match and the back four have played really well. 

"Sergio (Ramos) knew his position; Rafa (Varane) when he plays fulfils his role and Pepe played like he always does."

Karanka also claimed his side's tactic of exerting pressure and pressing Celta high up the pitch paid off during the game.

"We knew that if we let them have the ball they were going to create problems because they always play with the ball. 

"If we gave them possession, they are a team that can pass and play. 

"We were able to exert pressure because they didn't play with the usual level of confidence."

Real defender Sergio Ramos also declared himself pleased with his side's defensive performance and efficiency in front of goal.

"After having as many players out as we did, we had to adapt to the circumstances," Ramos said.

"We are here to do what it takes and both Essien and I had played on the wings. 

"Real Madrid worked at a good level on defense and was effective in terms of the goal. 

"We are happy to have kept them from scoring, which was fundamental, and with a little more luck the margin could have been larger."

Real are currently 4th in the league table but will drop down one position if Real Betis beat Osasuna on Sunday.

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