“ the fans sang

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25.02.2016

The Costa Rican looks like establishing himself as first choice for some time to come after his latest heroics helped to secure a vital win against La Liga’s most in form team

Real Madrid waited all summer for its top target, David De Gea, only to miss out on the Manchester United goalkeeper when the paperwork was not competed on time on deadline day. It looked like a disaster. So it was that Keylor Navas,
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Navas never wanted to leave anyway. The Costa Rican shot stopper had waited patiently in the shadows of former Madrid icon Iker Casillas in 2014 15 and was starting to impress as the club’s first choice keeper. Against Betis just a couple of days before the close of the transfer window, he earned an ovation at the Santiago Bernabeu thanks to a penalty save from Ruben Castro. "Keylor, Keylor Navas!" the fans sang, to the tune of Queen’s ‚We Will Rock You‘.

Ever since the move for De Gea went wrong, Navas has gone from strength to strength. On Saturday, he produced his finest performance yet as, thanks to his saves, Madrid secured an impressive win that may just make the difference between success and failure at the end of this season in La Liga.

Celta Vigo sat level on points with Los Blancos at the top of the table prior to kickoff and had yet to lose in the Primera Division this term,
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Nevertheless, the visitors struck the first blow through Cristiano Ronaldo and were two up after 23 minutes when Danilo added another. Celta, meanwhile, did everything but score.

That was largely down to Navas. The Costa Rican produced superb saves to deny Fabian Orellana, Jonny,
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The former (and perhaps future) Barcelona forward did pull back a goal with five minutes remaining with an unstoppable drive that flew into the top corner. It was always going to take something special to beat Navas and Nolito the best outfield player on the park at Balaidos was the man most likely to produce it.

Celta had been playing with 10 men following the controversial dismissal of Gustavo Cabral (who picked up two bookings in quick succession earlier in the half) but Madrid’s fatigue was showing and the home side threw everything at Rafa Benitez’s men in the closing stages.

FULL STORY Madrid claims impressive win at Celta

Navas, though, was not to be beaten again and it was Marcelo who frustrated Celta once more, this time by firing home the clincher in added time to seal a vital victory for Madrid.

It was the 12th game in the Benitez era and still his team has not been behind. Madrid has also only conceded three times in those matches: once in the 2 1 win at Athletic Bilbao, another in the 1 1 draw at Atletico and now in this one.

Navas has been a huge part of that record. With two penalty saves to his name already this term and a number of important interventions, he has been key to Madrid’s success in the biggest games: at San Mames, at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, at the Parc des Princes in the 0 0 draw on Wednesday night and now at Balaidos against La Liga’s most in form team.

"I cried in my house with my wife," Navas revealed in September as he discussed his aborted departure. "I didn’t want to leave."

Now nobody wants him to leave and Benitez owes his goalkeeper a huge pat on the back for this result.

Asked about the Costa Rican’s performance afterwards,
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Without Navas’s heroics,
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