Xabi Alonso praises vital performance of 'keeper Diego Lopez

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Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso has heaped praise on his goalkeeper Diego Lopez after he produced a string of top saves to help Jose Mourinho's side to a 2-1 victory over Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Lopez, a January acquisition from Sevilla, made excellent stops to deny Danny Welbeck, Robin van Persie and Nemanja Vidic as Madrid came from behind to qualify for the last eight of Europe's top competition.

Luka Modric and former United star Cristiano Ronaldo scored shortly after Nani's controversial sending off to overturn Sergio Ramos' own goal.

Alonso told of his opinions on the match.

He said: "We were lucky we did not lose another goal. A lot was down to our goalkeeper Diego Lopez.

"The referee had to make an extremely difficult decision but we have seen a lot of games when a red card does not matter.

"This does not change the fact that at the time when United were playing with 10 men we jumped into gear.

"For 15 or 20 minutes we played very well and we were patient. That's when we managed to get those two goals."

Lopez, who is in his second stint with Real Madrid, managed to retain his place ahead of Iker Casillas despite the Spain captain being fit enough to return to the squad following his hand injury.

The 31-year-old claimed it was a week to remember after two victories over Barcelona preceded the win at Old Trafford.

He told Marca: "With 11 against 11, they had the match in their favour. We didn't know where to go. The sending off altered the game, but we had to et two goals and we succeeded.

"This week is one to frame and remember. At the most important time the team has won three important victories."

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