Champions League: Atlético 0 – 0 Real Madrid
Quarter-final tie level after tight goalless draw at the Calderón
It’s seven derbies this season without a loss for Diego Simeone, as his Atlético side held Real Madrid to a thrilling 0-0 draw at the Vicente Calderón on Tuesday evening.
Jan Oblak starred for Atleti, making sure that Real Madrid weren’t able to get themselves on the scoresheet. It’s now four games without conceding a goal to Real at the Calderón.
Los Rojiblancos now go into the return leg next week, across town at the Santiago Bernabeu, looking for the crucial away goal that could guide them to the Champions League semi-finals for the second season in a row.
The first heart-in-mouth moment of the game fell to Gareth Bale, who found himself through on goal with only the keeper to beat. It was a rushing Jan Oblak who came out to deny the Welshman with a fantastic save.
Real Madrid started the game well, pressing Atleti on the ball and getting the full-backs up to join the attack.
Ronaldo had his first chance from a free kick, but the strike from 40 yards did very little to surprise Oblak and the Slovenian got down well to smother it.
The real opportunity Atleti had to test Casillas came from a Koke corner, but Diego Godín could only head the ball wide.
It was Real who had the most of the early chances, and came out with the intention to attack Atleti. Gareth Bale and Carvajal were causing problems for Atleti, whilst Ronaldo looked up for it from the start.
Our cross town rivals were dominating the ball, and Atleti could not get a foothold in the game.
Gareth Bale was next in line to test Oblak, and the Welshman struck the ball from 35 yards. Oblak got down well to his left to stop the bouncing shot.
Soon after Bale came James Rodriguez, who tried a shot from the edge of the area using the outside of his boot. It curled through a crowd of players before it met the palms of Oblak, who pushed it wide of the goal. Our Slovenian goalkeeper was showing who should be Atleti’s number one on the world stage.
Atleti did get a shot on target. A poor clearance from Ramos found Gabi in the middle of the pitch, who headed it forward to an unmarked Griezmann.
Our Frenchman, with very little time, could only take one touch before hitting it on the swivel. Casillas saved easily.
Los Rojiblancos did manage to apply a little bit of pressure on their opponents after this, but this led to another counter attack. This time it was Luka Modric shooting at the Atlético goal, but it went over the crossbar.
The best chance of Real Madrid’s first half after an Atlético corner. The chance went begging, and in the end Varane showed lightning pace to run the length of the pitch to cross for Benzema. The big Frenchman tried to square to an unmarked Ronaldo, but he was off balance and Juanfran intercepted the pass.
Arda Turan had the first chance of the second half, Juanfran turned James Rodirguez before setting up our little Turk. However he could only head wide of Casillas’ post under pressure.
Sergio Ramos got away with another one early in the second half, when he caught Mario Mandzukic in the face with his elbow.
The Croatian was busted open, but the referee just waved away his protests. This coming after TV replays showed Ramos stamping on Koke earlier in the first half – again unpunished.
It was only a matter of time before a raging Mandzukic was put into the book – and for you guessed it – a harmless elbow.
Whistling rang around the Calderón as Real Madrid tried to take control of possession. Atleti were happy to play on the counter, and a well worked cross from Arda and Juanfran led to a blocked shot on the edge of the box from Siqueira.
A goalmouth scramble between Benzema, Bale and Ronaldo looked dangerous, but good work from the Atleti defence meant they could shepherd the ball clear.
Another heart-in-mouth moment came in the 70th minute, when Mario Mandzukic chinned Carvajal with his elbow. Carvajal went down heavy, and it was a bit of revenge for Mario after Carvajal and punched him in the stomach ten minutes earlier.
Mandzukic, on a yellow, was in danger of being given his marching orders. However the referee gave just a foul, and Atleti breathed again.
It was Raúl García who was eventually Simeone’s first substitution, but it was Antoine Griezmann that he was sent on to replace.
Arda Turan almost slipped Koke in after a fantastic solo run, but his pass was cut out at the last moment by the Real Madrid defence. Our midfield maestro was replaced by Fernando Torres with seven minutes left.
And it was Torres who had a penalty appeal turned down after juking past Sergio Ramos. Ramos just stood up in front of him and blocked Torres off, while the referee waved for El Niño to get to his feet.
What followed was two goalmouth scrambles for Atleti. One was poorly judged by Casillas and almost led to a Torres goal.
The resulting corner was then crossed in and Mandzukic couldn’t turn the ball in from inside the six yard box. Casillas managed to palm the ball away.
It was then Mandzukic’s turn to test the Real Madrid defence, and did just that as he cracked the ball into the stomach of the substitute Arbeloa. Appeals for a penalty for handball waved away by the officials.
Stoppage time disappeared as Atleti tried again to take the lead, but the final whistle blew and it means Atlético go to the Bernabeu next Wednesday looking for the crucial away goal.
|Atlético Madrid||0 0||Real Madrid|
|Champions League 1/4 Final|
|14 April 2015|
|Raúl García (76')|
|F Torres (82')|