Keylor Navas plays down save in Real Madrid derby draw

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas has played down his heroics in Sunday's 1-1 La Liga draw at city rivals Atletico.

The Costa Rica international produced an excellent save from Antoine Griezmann's penalty to ensure his team went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

Navas then pulled off a vital late save to deny substitute Jackson Martinez the winner.

"God is on my side and he helped me make my decision and save the penalty," Navas said on his club's website.

"You always have to be on your toes in order to help the team out; it was a tricky shot but luckily I was able to keep it out. Penalties are something I research and work on.''

Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas also praised Navas on Monday.

"I think it is fantastic that it is going well for him and I am happy for him," said the Spain international, who moved to Porto over the summer. "He is having a great season in a spot that has been difficult over the past years. With veteran experience and doing things well he will play a good role. I hope that it will turn out like that so that things go well for the club."

Casillas, who spent 25 years at the club and wished both Navas and Kiko Casilla well.

"I can't look back every day, my stage with Madrid has passed. Now there are others who should have the Madrid illusion. I hope that Keylor is as taken with Madrid as I once was."

Victory would have seen Real move to the top of La Liga, with leaders Villarreal and arch-rivals Barcelona both losing at the weekend.

However, Rafael Benitez's side had to settle for second spot, one point behind Villarreal, going into the international break.

"We wanted to win and we had a chance to do just that,'' Navas said.

"At the end of the day we weren't looking for a draw, but at least it's another point on the board; we have to be appreciative about that and continue onwards.''

Navas admitted Real should have played better.

"We were guilty of some carelessness and mistakes are severely punished in games like these,'' he said. ``We tried to play our game and they sat back waiting for us to slip up.

"It's tough trying to break down such a tight unit but that's what we attempted to do.

"We played well, we can't dwell on the negatives. We'll need to look over things and correct the mistakes but we're doing a good job.

"It wasn't the most attractive game of football but we were up against very good opponents who defend well and sit deep.''

Navas, who was Iker Casillas' understudy last season, came close to join Manchester United this summer only for his deal to collapse on transfer deadline day.

The 28-year-old has proved pivotal for Los Blancos, giving away just two goals in nine appearances in all competitions this season.

"What happened during the summer is in the past, I'm living in the present moment now,'' Navas said. "I wanted to be the first choice keeper and I'm really enjoying things at the moment.

"Hopefully we can get to the end of the year with the points tally we set out for ourselves so as to be on course to achieve our objective, which is to win La Liga.''

Real return to Primera Division action on Oct. 17 when they host Levante.