All the build-up, hope and excitement ahead of the derby, or business as usual for the Rojiblanco faithful, was all for naught as Atlético fell to their league-leading neighbours by an unjust 4-1 scoreline for the second time this season.
Los Blancos’ doomsday-machine-like-deadly attack, led by an inspired Cristiano Ronaldo, spoiled a majestic evening at the Vicente Calderón.
For a period of about 13 minutes – between Falcao’s game-tying goal and Cristiano’s second long-distance missile – it really did feel like the tide was finally going to turn in los Colchoneros’ favour. Sadly, that was not the case and the derby drought will go on for at least one more campaign.
With the loss, Atleti sunk to ninth place in the Primera División standings and a Málaga victory over Villareal on Thursday would leave us 10 points adrift of a Champions League place and four points out of the Europa League qualification zone with only six games left to be played this season.
Surely Diego Simeone’s men will now begin to exclusively focus on their Europa League crusade, a competition that still offers the club a chance to bring home some silverware.
We’ll know for sure what ‘El Cholo’s’ intentions are when we visit Rayo Vallecano on Sunday ahead of our Europa League semi-final first leg match against Valencia next week.
Post-game notes and quotes:
Atleti boss ‘Cholo’ Simeone felt his men were “punished much more severely than they deserved” and attributed the loss in part to Ronaldo’s “brilliance”.
“In the second half, when it was 1-1, I think we lost the ball too much,” he said in the post-game press conference.
“I think the entire first half and the first 15 minutes of the second, the team played a very good game, where they tried to play and offer their ideas of football, closing the flanks, etc.
“Five or six minutes after our goal, we began to retreat. We did not have patience nor the ball possession to continue playing the match we had been playing.”
- Falcao’s goal was his 21st of the season in the league and 29th overall in all competitions with Atlético.
- Adrián picked up his ninth assist of his first campaign in red and white.
- This is Atleti’s third streak of a record eight straight losses to Real Madrid (previously occurring from 1952 to 1955 and from 1994 to 1997).
- Atlético had never given up eight or more goals to their bitter rivals in a single season, until this one.
Who were your best and worst players of the match for Atleti?