Atlético Madrid – Real Madrid: A Derby Of Controlling Overtones (1-1)
For sixty-five minutes, Atlético Madrid controlled both the events of the Madrid derby and had a firm grip in the title’s course, as Diego Simeone’s team displayed defensive dominance and exposed their opponents' transitional problems. Then Real Madrid got a hold of the reigns, to grab a point from Atléti’s grasp. The race for the LaLiga trophy is far from over.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
All derbies hold their sentimental weight, but the latest instalment of El Derbi Madrileño was guaranteed to leave a significant impact on the race for the Spanish crown.
Having stormed through the winter months in pole position, Simeone’s soldiers seemed all but certain to, inevitably, lift the LaLiga title, for the first time in seven years. One win in four matches almost saw Atléti pegged back with the rest of the group, but a 2-0 win at Villarreal left them five points ahead, with a game in hand, which they will play on Wednesday.
Victory would see them create an eight-point gap against their city rivals, potentially eleven by the end of next week; lose, and Real Madrid would be breathing down their necks even more. The revival of Zinedine Zidane’s side has come amid the biggest injury crisis the club has seen, with just ten senior outfielders available for the 1-0 win in Bergamo. Now they had to mount a title charge, without the influences from the likes of Sergio . . .