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Real relief for coach Karanka

Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka admits his side were fortunate to come away with the points from their match at Deportivo La Coruna following a late winner from Gonzalo Higuain.

Last Updated: 24/02/13 at 13:10 Post Comment

Gonzalo Higuain: Celebrates his strike for Real Madrid

Gonzalo Higuain: Celebrates his strike for Real Madrid

Madrid coach Jose Mourinho rested several key names against the Primera Division basement boys with a view to Tuesday's Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Barcelona, but the decision seemed to backfire when Riki fired Depor in front 10 minutes before the interval.

The home side then had several chances to extend their lead but were made to rue some poor finishing when Kaka equalised in the 73rd minute, while Higuain sealed victory for the visitors two minutes from time.

Karanka feels a different mindset among his team after the interval was the reason for their lucky escape.

"From the first minute of the second half we saw a change of attitude," he said on realmadrid.com.

"We didn't win because of the substitutions, which were made in the 12th minute of the second half, but because of the change we made.

"It was the attitude of all the players that sparked the comeback.

"We knew what we were going to come up against at Depor. We could have been more than one goal down at half-time, they were much better than us in the first half, but they didn't make the most of their chances and they have paid the price."

Karanka reserved praise for forward Kaka, who was given a rare 90 minutes by Mourinho and responded with the equaliser.

"It's true that honestly he is playing well," Karanka said of the Brazilian.

"His state of mind helps him and this is important for the team, that he is playing well and that he is another alternative. That is always positive."

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unday, Sunday. Will there be a fan of either team, who if they are winning after 80 mins, won't still be nervous? This could be anything from 0-0 to 5-5, and no one would bat an eye.

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his year I am getting F365 a whack-a-mole game but with Brendan instead of the mole (Like the one with JD on Scrubs) and every time he pops up he says something. Outstanding Whack!, Character Whack!, Magnificent Whack!, Wonderful Composure Whack, Whack f**king Whack. Hours of fun.

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s for City, can't believe you omitted Sergio. He's both dreamy and lovable rolled into one humble genius. Kolarov, we've all played with a mad cap left back who simply loves two things, shooting and tackling. To leave out Martin Demichellis, shame on you.

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