La Liga: Atlético 2 – 2 Real Madrid
Spectacular derby ends in tie
A spectacular Derbi Madrileño ended in a 2-2 tie, as the standings remain close at the top of the Spanish league.
Both the start and the finish were Real Madrid’s, with Atlético dominating and scoring in between. The very balanced tie had everything a football fan could ask for, as there was plenty of aggression, controversy, passion and a number of spectacular goals.
It took Real Madrid only two minutes to score, when Karim Benzema scored from close range after Ángel di María swung in an inviting cross.
Ten minutes later Atleti thought they deserved an opportunity to equalize, but Delgado Ferreiro waved to play on as Sergio Ramos quite clearly brought down Diego Costa. The referee made a number of dubious calls throughout the game, almost all of which were in Madrid’s favour.
From the twentieth minute on a series of opportunities were created at both ends, with Diego Costa firing wide, before Benzema and Ronaldo forced Thibaut Courtois to two saves. Then, after Arda Turan showed off his dribbling skills, Koke equalized after receiving the assist from his Turkish teammate. Koke scored a low drive through the legs of Sergio Ramos to make it 1-1.
From that point on Atlético took control over the game and pushed Real back. Their strong play didn’t seem to lead to anything with half time fast approaching, but in the added time the home side deservedly took the lead through a thunderbolt by their captain. Gabi received the ball 40 meters away from goal and surprised Diego López by firing in a fantastic strike to make the Vicente Calderón erupt.
Atlético continued to put pressure on their neighbours after the break and should have increased their lead through Diego Costa, but the top scorer first missed a 1-on-1 with López and later headed just wide from a Gabi corner.
At the other end Benzema volleyed just inches wide of the goal and Courtois saved a dangerous header by Gareth Bale, who like Ronaldo was hardly involved in the game. Carlo Ancelotti seemed to have got his formation and personnel wrong and decided to take off both of the wing backs who struggled massively against Atleti.
With the Atleti players tiring, the game opened up, leading to a header by Ronaldo which just missed the target, and a header by Raúl García which went wide off López’ hands and the post.
In the final quarter-hour Atleti retreated to their own box, inviting Real Madrid to come forward. It seemed the Rojiblancos would be able to hold off their opponents, but an individual error by Mario Suárez gifted Real the equalizer. The midfielder carelessly lost the ball to Dani Carvajal, whose crossed ended up with Cristiano Ronaldo, who put it away.
Atleti nearly reclaimed the lead when Carvajal slipped up just before the end, but Diego Costa selfishly fired at goal instead of passing it to the wide open Koke. Immediately after the opportunity, Real created an opportunity through Modric but the Croatian shot wide. A cross from the left in the dying seconds was cleared by Filipe Luís just before Ronaldo could reach for it, as the game ended in a tie.
|Koke 28'||Benzema 3'|
|Gabi 45'||Ronaldo 82'|
|02 March 2014|
|C. Rodríguez (83')|
|Di María (72')|