As always there were hopes and ambitions. Perhaps even more now that for the first time in years Atlético were leading Real in the league, by eight points no less.
But again the Derbi Madrileño ended in heartbreak and disappointment for the Rojiblancos, as they fell to their neighbours without ever looking like the team that has impressed so much in Spain and Europe this past year.
The first opportunity of the game was for the visitors. Diego Costa beat his defender and reached the back line, from where his low cross reached Falcao at the near post. Unfortunately for Atlético the Colombian’s subtle touch was kept out by Iker Casillas.
Just a few minutes later Real did score from their first attempt on goal. Arda Turan stupidly conceded a free kick for a handball and was made to regret his mistake by Cristiano Ronaldo, who superbly put the free kick past Thibaut Courtois.
Ronaldo’s goal was reminiscent of last year’s derby, when he was also succesful from a set piece. The Portuguese has made the most attempts of all players in La Liga, and chose the match against Atleti to convert his first free kick of the season.
The teams created few opportunities in the first half and instead were busy trying to get each other sent off. Diego Costa was a menace for Real’s defenders and constantly got into fights with Xabi Alonso, Pepe and Sergio Ramos, who weren’t shy about getting physical either.
After an hour of play, Mesut Özil decided the game. Miranda completely missed a header and allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to bring the ball forward. Initially Juanfran and Godín did well to block Ronaldo’s pass to Benzema, but all of Atleti’s defenders lost sight of Özil, who was calmly waiting for the ball on the edge of the box. Despite the German’s poor first touch, he had no problem slotting it underneath Courtois for Real’s second goal of the night.
With the result beyond doubt, Real finally started moving the ball around well and in the 10 minutes after Özil’s second, the home team created three huge opportunities to extend their lead even further.
Cristiano Ronaldo hit the woodwork twice in as many minutes. After first smacking the ball against the crossbar from a free kick, he later hit the post after a fantastic Özil through pass. Earlier Thibaut Courtois had done well to stop José Callejón’s shot.
Despite all our ambitions, Atlético failed to show up in the Derbi Madrileño and lost the match without ever posing a real threat to Real’s hierarchy in Madrid.
La Liga: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Cata Díaz; Mario, Gabi (“73 Tiago); Koke (“73 Adrián), Arda (“78 Raúl García), Diego Costa; and Falcao.
Goals: 1-0 Ronaldo (“16); 2-0 Özil (“66)