San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Keylor Navas

Keylor Navas leads Real Madrid to another shutout in battle of Europe's top teams

The top-ranked teams from Spain and France duelled to a 0-0 tie in Paris during Wednesday’s Championship League group stage. Though Real Madrid limped into the match without three of its top offensive threats, Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas and the defense kept another clean sheet for “Los Merengues” against a Paris St. Germain team that’s undefeated in the French Ligue 1.

Featuring all-word talents like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, and Ángel Di María, Paris St. Germain has one of Europe’s most feared attacks, which averaged nearly three goals per game in its previous five matches.

But Real Madrid’s defense looked impressive against one of the world’s best front lines and Navas was rarely challenged. The Costa Rican had an easy save early on, smothering a shot from outside the box. Then in the second period, Navas made another diving save after the ball deflected off of Real Madrid defender Marcelo Vieira’s elbow.

Navas has only allowed two goals in 11 games during his record-breaking season and has yet to allow a goal in five career games in the Champions League. The Tico’s stretch ties the Real Madrid club record. Navas also added Wednesday to his impressive save percentage, which, heading into Wednesday’s match, ranked tops among goalkeepers in Europe’s five major leagues at 91.7 percent, according to WhoScored.com.

For its part, Real Madrid was without many of its own premiere strikers as Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, and James Rodríguez remain out with injuries. Navas and Real Madrid will next take the field on Saturday at 8 a.m. Costa Rican time when they play Celta Vigo, which is ranked second behind Los Merengues in La Liga.

Contact Michael Krumholtz at mkrumholtz@ticotimes.net

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