Two battering rams synthesized a Madrid derby that did not completely relieve any neighbor, and did give Barça gasoline. When Atlético forgot about Luis Suárez, absolute leader of the first development of the game, the Madrid he remembered Benzema, total administrator of the last act of the crash. They symbolized the script of the match. From an authoritarian and determined Atlético to a Athletic lying near Oblak. From a Madrid forced to a role of resistance to a final Madrid to the beat of the drum.
This time, with the ball as luggage, Atlético ruled from the outset. Opposite, a spectacular, bland Madrid. A real spectator of his neighbor, a chattel with the ball and with a better occupation of the spaces. Until he pulled the blanket towards Oblak, that Atlético who, although spasmodically, this course has been more capable than ever in the days of cholismo of chatting with the ball. His alignment demanded it, with a lot of rojiblanco with an offensive vocation and with an offensive spirit. But the list of recruits has not always been according to the board, as it happened against Chelsea.
Expansive for almost an hour, Simeone’s box pivoted on Koke and gave wings to Lemar, Llorente, Correa and Carrasco. All with a final point: Luis Suárez. Hesitant Madrid, Atlético went and went. And with result. Llorente, who has more than one turbo, knocked Nacho down and the timing that Suárez offered him deserved a soccer symposium. The Uruguayan met with his comrade just a fourth before being out of place. A millimetric Suárez to start and a Suárez as stylist as effective for the pass to the net. Courtois, with his body and arms in a pinwheel, blinds the goal to anyone. But the Uruguayan has faced similar challenges for centuries. A solution within the reach of few: a strike with the outer instep of the right foot, a touch with three fingers to avoid the bulky Courtois. A great goal: for Llorente’s stride with propellers, Suárez’s dribbling offside and his coup de grace.
The goal did not produce any immediate jolt in the course of the game. With hardly any warnings in the areas, Atlético was liked more, much less predictable. Madrid stiffer, without march, without overflow, with Rodrygo and Asensio with no major intention than to process the game. Only visiting blank was perceived. The opposite of the mattress rows. Suarez was a constant alarm for whites. Madrid did not give anyone who would put Atlético on alert. Just rushed by a Casemiro shot blocked by Oblak. Of course, unintentionally, his best opportunity is almost provided by Felipe.
Until then, more than appealing to the game, Real was left with the most recurrent and tedious debate of these days. The happy hands, that referee Sanskrit. Felipe did not reach a header and the ball slipped on his left arm, which the Brazilian defender did not seem to be busy with. The referee of the tip-off gave the tip to the field judge, which usually leads to a colleague. Not this time. The referee reviewed the play and said nones. In the first hundred years of football such involuntariness would not have been whistled. Today Yes. Or not. According to rain or shine, day or night … Who knows. A gibberish.
There was no more visiting argument against Oblak in the entire first section than the anger over the alleged penalty. Back from the truce, Suarez again as the flag. A priceless vent for your companions. Tireless, the viejo (they said) Suarez agitated both his own and the others. It was never a fixed target. Of those types that aggravate for the adversary until a melonazo that reaches him. Partner of all, he left Carrasco in front of Courtois, Courtois again in capital letters. The Uruguayan himself checked a couple more times the range of the Belgian goalkeeper. But little by little Atlético insisted on playing two games: the result of the match and that of Suárez. He had horizons, but he lacked decision and precision.
The white changes
Real did not emerge, so Zidane again sent the dark room to the extremes – this day the insubstantial Rodrygo and Asensio – and opted for Valverde and Vinicius. Madrid won rennet, pressed by the scoreboard and invited to the Oblak area by an increasingly opaque rival, more screwed up close to his goalkeeper.
Not even João Félix’s entrance gave Simeone’s men another boost. Yes, Vinicius did, with the self-confidence that Rodrygo and Asensio had not had. A misstep by Correa allowed the Brazilian to sprint towards the local goal and carve out a Versailles pass for Benzema. Finally, Benzema in the derby. But Oblak, despite the little cut so far, was not having a snack. At close range, the Slovenian took a double shot from the Madrid captain. A blink later, he also became great in a foul executed by the Frenchman.
The match was already rolling at Benzema’s feet when the Frenchman threw an action with the team’s other scorer, Casemiro. The Brazilian, defender at times, pivot at others and increasingly more vocational striker, made a carom with Benzema and the pot. Arcana of football. When the rojiblancos had more shrapnel near their goal, two Madridistas assaulted the ranch from the center lane. After Benzema’s draw there were a couple of sighs left, but Real ended up bare-chested. Atlético had long been begging for the final whistle.
From Luis Suárez to Benzema, the change of needles left Barça closer to Atlético – three points – and Real Madrid further away from Barça – two. Of course, Cholo Simeone’s men have one more bullet left, this week against Athletic. LaLiga still has intrigues. And not just because of the happy hands.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.