Real Madrid 0-1 Atlético: what we learned

27 Feb

1. Atlético are capital kings
Between 1999 and 2013, Real Madrid did not lose a single Derbi Madrileño. Since then, Diego Simeone’s side have gone six Liga meetings unbeaten, winning four. Antoine Griezmann’s goal here (his first in five games), sealed the Rojiblancos’ third consecutive league victory at the Santiago Bernabéu – a first. Atlético keep the bragging rights for another season.

2. Zidane’s first real setback
Defeat condemned Zinédine Zidane to his first defeat since replacing Rafael Benítez in January. The Frenchman had led the Merengues to six wins and two draws, all in the Liga bar last week’s 2-0 victory in Rome. This is his first setback, and also Zidane’s first ever defeat by Atlético – he won six and drew two during his playing days. How will he respond?

3. Saúl Ñíguez makes EURO case
The Atlético midfielder has come of age this season and is now a fixture in Simeone’s starting XI. He has drawn praise from Vicente del Bosque in recent weeks, and once again showed that his performance levels are up there with the best. He covered every blade of grass, helping out in defence and getting forward when Atlético countered. He almost got on the scoresheet late on but was denied by a smart Keylor Navas stop.

Watch brilliant Mayoral strike for Madrid

4. Borja Mayoral is a star of the future
Following his outstanding display in Tuesday’s 3-1 UEFA Youth League victory over Manchester City, Mayoral was rewarded with a place on the bench. When Karim Benzema was unable to continue after the break, the 18-year-old came on for only his second Liga appearance. His pace and trickery had the Atlético defence on the back foot on a number of occasions and he went close with a left-footed effort. He is destined for a bright future.

Highlights: PSV 0-0 Atlético

5. Jan Oblak deals in clean sheets
The Slovenian has started all 26 of Atlético’s Liga games this season, conceding just 11 goals and keeping a remarkable 17 clean sheets. His UEFA Champions League record is even more impressive: two goals shipped in seven outings. Oblak produced a number of smart stops at the Bernabéu, most memorably keeping out a swerving Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick. Thibaut who?


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