REAL MADRID

Keylor Navas: most shots faced, fewest goals conceded

Keylor Navas: most shots faced, fewest goals conceded

MIGUEL RIOPA

AFP

The Real Madrid keeper leads Europe's top leagues in saves made and goals conceded.

Keylor Navas is Real Madrid's balance. The Costa Rica keeper is maintaining the side at the top of La Liga, having made 27 saves so far this season. Against Celta Vigo on Saturday he put on an exhibition with five key stops that were the basis of Real's 3-1 victory and ensured three points for Rafa Benítez's side. It isn't the first time Navas has been instrumental in ensuring maximum points and preserving the eye-catching defensive statistics Benítez's Real are posting.

Statistics don't lie. Navas has faced 113 shots this season, of which 31 have been on target. He has stopped 90 percent of those. In comparison with the league leaders in Europe's other strongest leagues (Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Roma and PSG), Navas has faced more shots than his counterparts and conceded the fewest goals: three. Roma have received more goal attempts than Real – 120 – but have used two keepers.

A key element of the statistics is the amount of shots faced by Manuel Neuer (66) and Joe Hart (69) compared to Navas' 113. Another important aspect is that Real have not achieved the defensive equilibrium they have been widely credited with, having allowed more shots this season than at the same stage last year. Carlo Ancelotti's side ended last season with an average of 11.9 shots per opponent, while this year the figure stands at 12.5.

Navas attributed his incredible run to confidence: "I fell confident in every shot I face, thanks to God I have confidence. I'm happy for the win and because I was able to do my job in every important moment."

With Navas between the sticks, Real have conceded fewer goals than any top-flight side in Europe. By comparison Neuer has made 15 saves and conceded four; Hart has been forced into just 13 saves and has conceded four; PSG keeper Kevin Trapp has made 24 saves from 80 shots and conceded six; Roma's Wojciech Szczesny missed three games though injury and has faced 88 shots and conceded six times in six matches.

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