Atletico Madrid ended Real’s undefeated streak at the Spanish League as the “Rojiblancos” defeated “Los Blancos” in an intense encounter at Metropolitano. Spanish striker Alvaro Morata was on target twice as former Barca star Griezmann fired the third to win it in favor of Diego Simeone’s men, as Ancelotti’s brigade suffer first defeat in the domestic circuit.
A clash of Spanish titans
Like all other derbies in the world, the Madrid derby promises nothing less than a clash of two heavyweights fighting for pride and reputation of the Spanish capital city. Both of the teams have a rich history of football, comprising several star footballers within their ranks, owing to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Aguero in the past to Antoine Griezmann, Jude Bellingham and Vinicius in the present. The fight between “Rojiblancos” and “Los Blancos” always takes a swashbuckling turn in the games contested, as in crunch fixtures like this, no one can predict the winner beforehand. Real was buzzing at the top with some glittering performances against the other clubs and Jude Bellngham’s magic web was responsible for that pole position, as some of his last minute heroics have saved the blushes of Ancelotti, but last night, it was Simeone’s brigade who broke the unbeaten streak of their crosstown counterparts, edging them 3-1, courtesy a Alvaro Morata brace and Griezmann strike.
With a gigantic clash on the cards, both teams from the Spanish capital brandished their potent eleven, aiming to upset the other. Ancelotti went with his favorable 4-3-2-1 formation, where the defensive wall composed of the seasoned defenders Vazquez, Rudiger, Alaba and Garcia. The midfield comprised veteran Kroos shouldering the responsibility of passing the baton to youngsters like Camavinga and Valverde, who accompanied him, and the frontal attack was vested with Bellingham, Rodrygo and the Croatian legend Modric.
Simeone, on the other hand, went with his traditional midfield-heavy approach as his defensive duties rested on Savic, Jimenez and Hermoso. Midfield comprised Argentine World Cup winner Molina, Llorente, Koke, Saul and Lino, with former Real star Morata was accompanied by French superstar Antoine Griezmann.
Morata opens scoring
Alvaro Morata, who has once plied his trade for their crosstown opponents Real Madrid, has transformed to a beast this season. Owing to his performances in the league, which saw a flashy brace against Rayo Vallecano in Atleti’s rout of 7-0, he has been one of the top grossing strikers in the domestic circuit this season. Last night was not an exception as Metropolitano saw his mettle, as Morata showcased his worth in front of the home fans. Often we have seen that in these days, the wingbacks are playing an instrumental role in helping the striker to slot the ball past opponent keeper. For Atleti, similar thing was on the offing as left wing-back Samuel Lino was pivotal in providing the assist for the first goal of the game. The Brazilian Lino cut past rising Fede Valverde and swirled a pitch-perfect cross to Morata, who got past Alaba to make his move, thus hitting the back of the net, on the 4th minute of the game, as Atleti edged ahead 1-0 in early minutes.
Griezmann on target this time
After Morata’s strike, Real was a bit fudgy in Atleti box as they were exploring options to get past Oblak, but Simeone had chalked out a way to edge out Real off the game. Lino was responsible once again for this goal, as he cut past to pass to Saul on the left wing. The Spanish star swung in a perfect cross, which found out Antoine Griezmann, as the French world cup winner backtracked to score the second of the night, heading the ball past Kepa. Thus, Real fell behind Atleti with 18 minutes on the clock.
Kroos pulls one back, but in vain
Although Atletico was leading the score line 2-0, it was Real who managed to hold on the ball for most of the time, having 64% possession, compared to Atleti’s 36%. As the clock struck 35 minutes, the experienced Toni Kroos deployed his class outside the box, as Valverde got to the ball first, and his cross was headed away. Kroos, waiting to prowl on a Rojiblancos’ mistake, cut past Llorente with a left footed shot, which was drilled away by the Spaniard. The German superstar blasted a right-footed shot which went past Oblak, thus Kroos pulling back things for Real.
Morata rescues Atletico
With a half-time score of 2-1 in Atletico’s advantage, the match was poised for a climactic finish in the second half. But, it seemed that it was written in Morata’s destiny that he would put the final nail in the coffin for Atletico. As soon as the second half began, Griezmann picked out Saul, cushioning a clever pass to rekindle the Spanish-French bonhomie, as Morata, out of nowhere past Alaba, came crashing against Kepa, thus scoring his second of the night, as Real was staring at their first defeat of this season.
With numerous chances squandered from both sides, Atletico reigned supreme over their crosstown rivals, with Real surrendering their top spot to arch rivals FC Barcelona, who completed a remarkable turnaround against Celta Vigo, scoring thrice in nine minutes, with Girona following a close second, and Real on the third spot.