Atlético Madrid – Real Madrid: Clinicality Delivers The Victory In A Brutal Madrid Derby (1-3)
El Derbi Madrileño was characterized by a gargantuan number of fouls, plenty of yellow cards, and a minimal amount of chances. While that sort of environment has favored Atlético Madrid in past encounters, this time around, it was Real Madrid who showed greater ruthlessness in front of goal and emerged victorious.
Tactical analysis by Om Arvind.
Santiago Solari’s team have been on quite a run since narrowly beating Real Betis in mid-January. Including Copa del Rey matches, Real Madrid had won seven out of eight games coming into El Derbi Madrileño. Every victory had led to an increase in confidence, prompting better individual and collective form, which then led to an increase in confidence, and so on. It now feels like an unstoppable cycle, much like the snowball effect in the Lopetegui era – except this time in reverse.
In contrast, Atlético Madrid had looked solid but slightly unconvincing within that same time span – a common theme for them this campaign. They had ground out results against Espanyol, Sevilla, and Levante, in typical Atléti fashion, before suffering a defensive collapse that saw them knocked out of the Copa del Rey Round of 16 by Girona.
Atlético have largely stuck to Diego Simeone’s conservative method this season after a brief flirtation with a more offensive system. This seems to happen every year, as Simeone appears to understand the need for evolution but is always forced to trust his defensive instincts when the experiment does not work out.
Last season, there were signs that Atlético were not the same defensive force as before, with . . .