The two Madrid giants played out an entertaining, tense derby, ending in a scoreless draw. The game showcased plenty of top performers from each side canceling each other out and providing a high quality game. The only winner today is F.C. Barcelona, who gain two points on their title rivals.
The first half was high-strung but lacking in clear-cut chances for both teams. Atletico seemed to exert more control on the game but they did not create better chances than Real.
In the second half, both teams created more and more chances. A goal would have added even more intensity in the game and the first scorer might have gone on to win it. But whenever an attacker produced something magical, a defender was there to show up they can handle it.
Benzema’s header in the 75th minute perfectly exemplifies the aforementioned point. The Frenchman brilliantly rose above the Atleti defence to head in Nacho’s cross, only to be stopped by Oblak with a fingertip save.
As the game progressed, it seemed like Real Madrid were more aggressively pushing for the win, while Atleti were okay with preserving the draw.
In the 68th minute Zidane brought on playmaker Luka Modric for his holding midfielder Valverde. Two minutes later, Simeone withdrew his best attacking outlet, Joao Felix, for his holding midfielder Llorente, showing he was quite content with one point.
Eventually, the game ended in a stalemate. While Atletico created chances, Real forced Oblak to make three saves compared to Courtois’ one and Zidane’s team enjoyed more possession away from home overall.
All is not as bad as the media claims at Real Madrid. They are getting better and better each game.
Real Madrid go top of La Liga with this draw away from home against a title rival and Zidane will probably be considering this as two points lost, rather than one won. Such is the ambitious and competitive nature of the 13-time Champions League winners.
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