DERBY WITHOUT Benzem
Carlo Ancelotti’s team has had a crazy start to the season with 8 wins in a row in all competitions, including the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup. This is the best figure in half a century – since the 1968/69 season, when cream won 11 games in a row. It is clear that Atlético Madrid fans were eager for their favorites to break off their neighbors’ campaign for a record.
Diego Simeone is doing just the opposite – defeats to Villarreal in La Liga and Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, plus a draw with Real Sociedad and just seventh in the table after five rounds. The Argentine in the Madrid derby could not count on Jose Jimenez, Stefan Savic, Tom Lemar and Jose Reguilon, but Jan Oblak returned to the gate.
However, Real Madrid alone cost all these losses, because due to an injury, the main contender for the Golden Ball in 2022, Karim Benzema, was absent. In his absence, the role of the center forward went to Rodrigo. The rest of the royal club appeared in its usual form. Aurélien Tchouameni in the position of Carlos Casimiro is already almost used to, isn’t it?
Ancelotti didn’t make a mistake at Valverde
First of all, the Atletico players, with the help of a couple of skirmishes, made the opponent understand that every step would be extremely difficult for him, which seemed to intimidate the guests. The first minutes passed with a noticeable advantage of the “mattress”, the first four hits in the match were dealt by them.
It is all the more surprising that Real Madrid’s first worthwhile attack in the 18th minute ended in a goal – Federico Valverde, who spent a cool couple of months, was the first to come to his senses and dragged the ball past two opponents in the center of the field, and Tchuameni skillfully threw the ball behind the backs of the defenders on Rodrigo’s move . The Brazilian skillfully put the ball in touch under the crossbar. Felipe could have prevented him, but the defender “fell off the bike” without hitting the ball.
For the hosts, this goal was a blow in the stomach, because now the guests calmly retreated to their half of the field, and Atlético are far from being so good in positional attacks, and long-range strikes for Thibaut Courtois (perhaps the most hated person for the fans of the hosts in Real Madrid) ) are not a supertask.
After waiting for some time, the creamers also carried out the second effective attack, which was organized by Luka Modric – he came to the left half-flank (usually he is in the opposite zone), received the ball from Vinicius and threw it to the goal with a perfect pass on the move. The Brazilian hit the post from close range, but Federico Valverde was the first to get the ball. The Uruguayan gives a magnificent start to the season, fully justifying the confidence of Ancelotti, who said that he would “break the license” if he did not score 10 goals in a season. Federico has four of them by mid-September.
ON THE CLASS
Particularly active in the hosts was Antoine Griezmann, who started for the first time this season. There is an interesting story connected with this. The fact is that he is on loan from Barcelona, and at the end of the season, Madrid will have to pay 40 million euros if the forward spends a certain amount of time on the field. Therefore, usually Simeone releases it only after the 60th minute. Having waited for this opportunity, the Frenchman tried very hard, but received the ball far from the penalty area and Courtois did not carry a real threat to the goal.
Atlético attacked throughout the second half, but somehow mechanically, without fiction or zest, so they did not create any difficulty for the opponent, although they scored 90% of the accuracy of the passes. A surprisingly weak match was played by Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco, who met with the ball too rarely for such a game. Simeone did everything he could to improve the game – he shuffled substitutions, went from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2, but nothing worked.
“Real” attacked at best with two or three players, so the game went completely without a goal – in the first 30 minutes of the second half, the teams inflicted only one (!) blow. So the curious goal of Mario Hermoso (Courtois missed the ball with his fist, and it hit the back of the Atlético player) was a big surprise. Nevertheless, Real Madrid won a natural victory, and what is most offensive for the hosts, they did it in class – with a minimum of effort. And extended the winning streak to nine matches.
In conclusion, it is worth mentioning Vinicius. Recently, he was embroiled in a scandal over the style of celebrating his goals – the president of the Association of Football Agents of Spain, Pedro Bravo, accused him of “monkeying.” The striker replied that he would celebrate as he wanted, but he played the match too “artistically”, falling at every opportunity and reacting to every contact, which wildly infuriated the Wanda Metropolitano stands. Including the dance that celebrated the goal of Rodrigo …
Atlético fans gladly sided with the football official. Judging by reports in the local press, they not only chanted traditional insults at the Brazilian and threw lighters at him, but also brought with them a monkey, which was dressed in the white colors of Madrid. I think after the game there will be another racist scandal about this.
La Liga. 6th round
“Atletico” – “Real” – 1:2 (0:2)
Goals: Rodrigo, 18 – 0:1. Valverde, 36 – 0:2. Hermoso, 83 – 1:2.
“Atletico”: Oblak, Felipe, Witsel, Mandava, Llorente, de Paul (Morata 62), Kondogbia (Saul 81), Koke (Correa 72), Ferreira-Carrasco (Hermoso 72), Felix (Cunha 62), Griezmann.
“Real”: Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, F. Mendy (Rudiger, 75), Tchuameni, Modric (Camavinga, 82), Kroos (Asensio, 86), Valverde, Vinicius, Rodrigo (Ceballos, 86).
Warnings: Mandava, 28. F. Mendy, 33. Hermoso, 89. Carvajal, 89.
Removal: Hermoso, 90+1 (2 LCDs).