MADRID (EFE) – Real Madrid put a brake on the positive dynamics of Atlético de Madrid, exhibited firmness in a derby in which it was superior to close its fantastic week after endorsing Diego Simeone’s team its first defeat of the course with the same goals conceded in a match, scored by Casemiro and Carvajal with the help of goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who had only conceded two in the entire championship.
A derby without the passion of the fans is less of a derby. The duel lacked the tension that is transferred to the grass and the need prevailed. The defense of the Madrid crown was going through a clash with decisive overtones despite arriving in December. It was caused by the good athletic line and the unexpected regularity of Zidane’s team, weak in minor duels and once again the winner against tall rivals.
Only from maximum concentration and intensity can the radical change in a key week be explained. From the abyss to the resurrection to feel aspiring to everything again. A new dominating start against an Atlético who initially interpreted that he would feel comfortable giving the ball to his great rival. The plan of the scholar Diego Simeone this time did not work. The 1-5-3-2 neither eliminated spaces nor equalized the battle in the midfield, where Herrera sat Saúl on the bench to aspire to win the battle from the physical point of view.
The reality was different. Real Madrid never felt danger and comfortable with the ball, they found the way to create danger. He started his attempts with a long cross throw from Modric. And Oblak appeared, always decisive. His saving mitt to Benzema’s lash that later repelled the wood. Seconds later, the Frenchman did not hook a Lucas Vázquez cross against which Felipe was measuring badly at the far post.
The Madrid warning was launched. In the respect that was breathed between the two firm candidates for the title, without high pressure and little intention to risk, Casemiro rewarded the greater Madridista impetus. After a quarter of an hour he took advantage of a slip from his brand, Herrera, and headed Kroos’ corner kick at the near post at will. It was the punishment for a blurred Atlético the day he had in his hand to step forward and deal a blow to the League.
He lacked speed in the first act. And faith. A new derby of Joao Félix in the inconsequential, unable to change the slow pace of his team and replaced, with new anger, when in the second half he advanced lines after the failed approach. He was trying from the physicist Marcos Llorente in a special duel for him. Untouchable in the changes of Simeone, who liked so little what he saw that he made up to three at halftime to modify the face of his team.
The risk that corresponded to Real Madrid from the beginning was transferred to Atlético when it sought to get something positive. The entry of Lodi, Lemar and Correa favored the tactical balance. After an expensive mistake, on loan behind Lodi who found Benzema and Kroos, knocked down to the edge of the area in an action that the referee saw out, the key moment of the derby arrived.
Llorente found space behind Mendy and his perfect center, tense, finished with Lemar forgiving the far post with everything to score. Seven minutes later came the sentence. A new set-piece action with clearance from the rear and a whip full of power from Carvajal that repelled the post and Oblak’s back sent inside his goal.
The Slovenian goalkeeper had conceded two goals in the entire League, the same as a Real Madrid that lacked punching that heals his ills based on intensity and judgment with the ball. It was time to cool down the derby for Zidane, the great winner of the week, and sustain the athletic attempts. They did not work because Courtois appeared to a head of Saul in the center of Lodi.
The end of the athletic streak came against the last team he had lost to. 26 days undefeated since a Real Madrid was measured once again superior that could sign the third, with Lucas Vázquez leaving another physical exhibition, but running into Oblak. Zidane’s men are hooked on a League to which Atlético was able to strike a blow with definitive overtones.