La Liga: Real Madrid 4 – 1 Atlético Madrid

Atlético without a chance after first half penalty incident, despite a strong start

Courtois brings down Benzema (Marca)

Courtois brings down Benzema (Marca)

For the fifth time in our last six visits to the Santiago Bernabeú, Atlético took the lead against Real Madrid.

But a red card and penalty made an end to our strong start, as Atleti continue their 12-year drought in the Derbi Madrileño.

Gregorio Manzano started with a flat four man midfield, with Diego slightly ahead and Adrián up top. The coach chose to start with Diego Godín, Paulo Assunção and Salvio rather than Miranda, Mario and Reyes.

Atlético started off strongly and dominated the opening period.

Toto Salvio dribbled past three opponents, but unfortunately his final pass was lacking. From the ensuing corner kick it was Adrián who scored the opening goal after a brilliant run.

After the corner the striker picked up the ball outside the area and interchanged passes with Gabi, before beating his marker and setting up a one-two with Diego. Adrián received the return pass and put it past Casillas.

Real Madrid played at a low pace and hadn’t threatened Thibaut Courtois a single time until the match took a drastic change in the 22nd minute. Di María sliced open our defence and found Benzema, who was brought down inside the area by Courtois.

The referee could do nothing but send off the Belgian ‘keeper and award the home side a penalty, which was converted by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Despite their rivals going a man down, Real still failed to create opportunities, or it must have been a shot by Ronaldo from distance which went wide.

Manzano had said in the pre-match presser that his players would be tough and motivated to the bone. Our aggression helped us in the first period of the game, but later resulted in several bookings.

The players that lined up today showed true character, but Goyo’s decision to take off Diego for substitute goalkeeper Asenjo left Atleti unable to keep hold of the ball.

In the added time of the first half Benzema had a chance to score, but Domínguez did well to block his attempt and a shot from the ensuing cornerkick was saved by Sergio Asenjo.

Atlético had managed to keep the score tied until half time, but after the break Real quickly took the lead.

Ronaldo was launched on the left side and outpaced Diego Godín. The Portuguese pulled the ball back and allowed Ángel di María to make it 2-1.

Real Madrid didn’t put in a convincing performance, but they controlled the game and were gifted a third goal after naive defending by Diego Godín.

The Uruguayan should have made a clearance, but instead waited too long and allowed Higuaín to take the ball. The Argentine striker had been brought on some minutes earlier and unwrapped the early Christmas present by rounding Asenjo and putting the ball in the empty goal.

The home side hardly created opportunities, but they were deadly prolific with the few chances they were given. In the 82nd minute Higuaín was brought down from behind by Diego Godín.

Referee Mateu Lahoz awarded another penalty and sent off the Uruguayan defender, leaving Atleti with 9 men. Ronaldo scored a second time from the spot kick to score his 16th goal of the campaign.

Atlético played a strong first half, but were unable to cope after they were reduced to ten men. Despite conceding few chances the team went down after two penalties and a gift from Godín.

Line-up: Courtois (“23 Asenjo); Perea, Godín, Domínguez, Filipe; Salvio (“83 Miranda), Assunção, Gabi, Arda (“78 Reyes), Diego; and Adrián.

Goals: 0-1 Adrián (“15); 1-1 Ronaldo (p.k.)(“24); 2-1 Di María (“48); 3-1 Higuaín (“65); 4-1 Ronaldo (p.k.)(“82)

  • AtletienPhila

    Simple conclusions:

    + Godin looked bad the entire match. Can he regain his form?

    + Adrian is talented.

    + Manzano waited too long to make the substitutions. He did not make his second substitution until the 77th minute when Atleti was already losing 3-1. Furthermore, rather than keep his offense on the pitch, he replaces Turan with Reyes.

    + Courtois, who has been solid the entire season, made a terrible mistake that cost Atetico the game.

    + I do not know why Manzano took out Diego when Courtois received the red. Why not Assuncao or Gabi? It a scared movie.

  • Javi Lozoya

    We were close to obtain a good result, our performance was close to perfection, but we can’t reproach none of the players or Manzano, except maybe Godin, I say sell him to Chelsea and buy a world class defender like Sakho, anyways, we have to be proud of our players, because we had Madrid in predicament, and that is a good acomplishment even tough we didn’t win the match.

  • SoLobo

    @AtletienPhila I totally agree with the first four points, but I think that if Assuncao or Gabi had been replaced, we could concede a lot more than 4 goals. I guess the first sub was fair.

  • SoLobo

    And I also have to say that we were like prehistoric warriors with stones, against panzers. And we did very well. If I wasn’t an Atletico fan by now, after having seen this match, I would become one.

  • DJ_ZA

    Not too much to complain about. We were really good with 11. But then the 1st red card….. and then a 2nd!Now we’ll never know whether we could have ended the drought today.

    I actually feel a bit sorry for Manzano, but have to agree regarding questionable substitutions. Diego going off – I think it should’ve been Salvio instead. Was Manzano afraid because Diego already had a yellow card? But at that point we were still level, so I can live with his choice.
    But Reyes on for Arda was just wrong! Reyes should have come on for Salvio around “60 mark. [We were still only 1 goal down then]….. But perhaps it wouldn’t have made a difference at all.
    Guess we’ll just have to wait for the next derby. Hopefully by then we’d have learnt to be a (good) 90 minute team!

  • DJ_ZA

    So Getafe beat Barcelona – guess we’re the only Madrid team without a miracle.

  • Mais

    lol funny, this morning i actually said it was a good day for a least it went to someone

  • palc

    Ship that idiot Godin to Chelsea

  • Javi Lozoya

    DJ_ZA, and interestly enough the game winning goal for Getafe against Barca was scored by a former Atletico player, Juan Valera, how ironic, Valera scores a goal to defeat Barca and Raul Garcia is currently having the best season of his career, life is full of surprises, hopefully fate has a good surprise in store for us, who knows?, perhaps Perea scores a game winning goal againts Barca or Madrid in the future. I’d love to see that.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Valera come back!!!, and Raul Garcia too!!!, we need you guys!!!.

  • DJ_ZA

    Yeah, Javi. But they only get better when they LEAVE Atletico. ………guess that speaks volumes on our coaching ability.

  • Veiko

    Taking out Diego was absolutely idiotic and waiting till 76 min. to bring in reyes was another showpiece.
    manzano is absolutely awful ! This is not how it should be…

  • Ringo Schut

    I put my opinion in the prematch thread already an it hasn’t really changed.
    Except for the substitutions, I don’t really blame manzano for this game, the tactics were actually pretty good. About the Diego sub, I sort of understand it, at the time I thought taking out one of Arda, Diego and Salvio would be best, but as I said before, Adrian should’ve been out, Salvio should have been moved to striker position, because of his speed. Without the extra offensive power of Diego, adrian was too slow to match the Real defenders in any scenario. Salvio would have a bigger chance, in my opinion.

    At times like these I wished Gert-Jan Verbeek knew Spanish, someone like Verbeek is what Atletico needs right now, in my opinion. Someone with clear ideas, a plan and not scared to implement some youthful force. And I think he’s far better in the positioning game than most available Spanish coaches…

  • Javi Lozoya

    Ringo, or how about if Jürgen Klopp knew Spanish?, he has turned Dortmund into the best German team despite Bayern being the current Bundesliga, Dortmund plays the best football in Germany, also they have a solid base of young players, Götze, Hummels, Subotic, Schmelzer,Piszcek, Großkreutz, Bender, Gundogan, Kagawa, Leitner, Lewandowski, etc.., Dortmund is really a gold mine and all thanks to Klopp, he is a great coach, and he could lead us into greatness.
    Gert-Jan Verbeek is a great coach too but I think he needs more time at AZ before moving to a larger club, and speaking about Dutch coaches I think Frank De Boer would be a good option, he knows how to work with youngster and his style is playing attractive attacking football, in other words, Total Football.

  • atletisrael

    Godin go away, I really don’t know what Chelsea sees in you, you are not good enough for Getafe let alone Atleti. You are not even half the player Alvaro is (best CB in la liga, what a performance)!

    And way to go for Mourinho diving squad, the first penalty was a dive!!! It was never a red card!

    Other then that WHAT A PERFORMANCE. Good coaching, good closing down. Lineup was, for once, a process of good planning and the players showed passion and tallent. Real fans should know today was really a tie, there are two teams in the capital.

    BTW For those who said off with Perea I present the play that awarded him a yellow card. CR7 spent the entire game in fear after this tackle…

  • Javi

    Diego had to go because of his yellow card; Reyes should have started at minute 46; goid strategy from Manzano and except for Godins error great team performance
    Was I the only one that saw Benzema be offside before he went back and got the pass that led to the penalties?
    Real didn’t get a shot until the penalty, up to then I think we played possibly our best game of the season
    The red card rule has to go; it ruined a beautiful game
    Aupa Atleti, we go down with honor today

  • ratchet

    Can i just point out, the cery best teams battle and cope with less men, and ifs and maybes dont get points on the board. The fact is, its yet another loss, and in the end a very comfortable one as well. We wont get a better chance to beat real for a long, long time now and we have yet again blew it. Real will definately beat us at the calderon, we have only 16 points frow 13 games and have got a huge gap to breach if we are to get close to the CL spots. Its yet another dissapointment and it leaves us in a huge ammount of trouble.

  • atletisrael

    True, though we did played Barca and Real so the worse is behind us. We are looking good (now that godin is with red card) and should try to reach 6th place before half season

  • Ringo

    Javi Lozoya, you’re probably right about Klop, I didn’t think of it, but he could’ve been great.

    By the way, Frank de Boer probably knows the Spanish language, since he played for Barcelona in the past, so perhaps after some extra experience as a coach, he could be very useful, if Atleti sees something in him.

    Otherwise Rijkaard if he’s available again, he is not a mastermind, but he is the kind of coach this squad could use, since he is from the Ajax school and has trained Oranje and Barcelona, who all try to play dominant and offensive football. As long as he won’t be too stubborn to change the tactics when things don’t work out, like Ronald Koeman at Valencia a few years back, he could work over here.

  • davie

    the 4-1 scoreline is really harsh we played a really good game with passion think everyone played well apart from godin the 2 sending offs was harsh di maria is the most annoying player ever anyone goes near him and he instantly hits the deck its embarrasing. if we can play with the same determination and desire against other teams we should start rising up the table

  • Javi

    @ ratchet, yes we lost again and yes we have few points but if we play the rest of our games like yesterday we will be fine
    Keep in mind two things; the reason we have few points is because we have not played with the spirit and tactics we showed yesterday and, yesterday if it was not for Courtois red card we had a chance to get points at Bernabeu, something I previously thought impossible
    So I disagree with you that they will be us at home, that game is far away and we have time to improve on what we did yesterday
    If we would have played all our games this year as we did yesterday we would be in CL position now
    Even thou we lost, for the first time in many years I feel positive from the outcome of a derby

  • ratchet

    @ Javi I see your point but the fact is we probably wont play with spirit against other teams and real madrid were poor yesterday, they were no where near their best, and we failed to capitalise on that. If real are palying poor and they beat us 4-1, what can they do when they play well. other CL teams like valencia and sevilla would have beaten them if they played like that against them, yet we still manage to get thrashed in the end. We wont build on it, we never do. And so when the derby comes round again, chances are we will lose again. Itll take years to get another opportunity like this to beat them, it really was golden. Sadly, 20 minutes of good play is simply not enough and im frustrated and dissappointed that when we finally had a chance to lift the run of bad results against them we screw up yet again. Ive never heard anyone else being unable to win their big derby for 12 years, its ridiculous and its getting worse and worse as each game goes on. If it hasnt ended by the end of the season then it would truly be shocking.

  • Javi

    In one week we will see if we learned anything from this loss.

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