Champions League news

Lopez: Rooney quality behind United goal

February 15, 2013
By Dermot Corrigan, Spain Corespondent

Real Madrid keeper Diego Lopez says Wayne Rooney's superb delivery, rather than Sergio Ramos' slack marking, was the reason for Danny Welbeck's headed goal in the 1-1 draw with Manchester United at the Bernabeu.

Wayne Rooney clap v Fulham
PA PhotosWayne Rooney took the corner that led to Welbeck's goal

Madrid boss Jose Mourinho criticised Ramos after the Champions League last 16 first leg match, saying it was no use working on defending set-pieces in training if individual players did not then do their jobs on the pitch.

Lopez, speaking to AS, was keener to praise the quality of Rooney's corner - but he also accepted that his team needed to concentrate better in set-piece situations.

"What stands out most of all for me is that the delivery of the corner is very good," he said. "It comes in high and, suddenly, drops.

"They have players who are very good in the air. It depends where the ball drops, on the head of one player or another. That is what happened to us.

"We must work on these moves. You do that working and concentrating to resolve them successfully in the future."

The former Villarreal and Sevilla goalkeeper echoed Mourinho's post-game press conference claims that United had 'parked the bus' at the Bernabeu and that Madrid would score in the second leg at Old Trafford on March 5.

"They played very deep, trusting in their players up front, in their pace," Lopez said. "That is how this team is, and how they will be in the return.

"We know how to play them, but in the first leg we were not able to get a second goal. But this team is confident and optimistic about the second leg. This team has won games in many difficult away grounds, has scored many goals, and we will go for the game over there."

The Galician, who started his career at Madrid and then rejoined the club for €3.5 million in January after Iker Casillas suffered a broken finger, has started their last four games.

He said he had been impressed by David De Gea's performance in United's goal on Wednesday, adding: "He was very good, very solid and very safe. He is a good 'keeper."