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Real Madrid – Atlético Madrid: Zidane’s bold Adaptations Prove Key In Derby Scalp (1-0)

In keeping with the intensely-fought stalemates of recent history, it was refreshing to see an emphasis on opposition-specific tactics rewarded with a deadlock-breaker. Were it not for half-time changes two very interesting attacking setups may well have continued to frustrate themselves rather than their opponent.

Tactical analysis and match report by Peter Munnelly.

Since the beginning of 2020 only Atleti have managed to withstand the current league leaders across ninety minutes, albeit in a Super Cup final. Real Madrid are on dazzling form under Zinedine Zidane and show no signs of stopping, as they looked to temporarily open up a four-point gap at the top.

The Frenchman thus named a very similar side to the one that squeezed past Real Valladolid last weekend – the only changes coming in the form of Dani Carvajal replacing Nacho Fernández and Rodrygo Goes being replaced by Fede Valverde in a vague 4-3-3 setup.

Real’s city rivals have not quite handled themselves as well since returning. In that time they have won just one league game, before losing two matches – including a shock defeat in the Copa del Rey to Leonesa – and drawing their most recent match 0-0 with Leganés. Lingering on dropping out of all European spots, winning at the Bernabéu for the first time since February 2016 was a necessary feat.

Diego Simeone was, however, equally restrictive in his lineup alterations - only bringing in Vitolo for João Félix, with the rest filling out the holes in his standard 4-4-2 system.

Real find their feet . . .

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Peter (20), lives just outside of London. He’s been writing about tactics and such for over a year now, contributing to a couple of sites during that time. His main club is Arsenal but he’s also followed Real Betis quite heavily since Quique Setién took over last year. This form of writing has become a great passion of his and, although he’s unsure of what his end aim is, he’s enjoying being given new opportunities to continue doing so. [ View all posts ]

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