Mesut Ozil proved to be the decisive factor (yet again) between the two side and most importantly in unlocking the Los Colchoneros defence. The game was always going to be hard given the local derby and the fact that Atletico have two fantastic strikers in Kun Aguero and Diego Forlan and a majestic goalkeeper in David De Gea.
Key moments in the game
7 minutes – Atletico Madrid took the lead in the 7th minute after sloppy defence and questions over Aguero being offside but the flag stayed down. He rounded Casillas and was brought down in the box, ball fell to Forlan who calmly slotted it in. An important part being Casillas could have been sent off for bringing down Aguero had Forlan not scored and put Atletico ahead.
14minutes – Real didn’t take long to equalise. Sergio Ramos leaped highest to a corner and headed in the back of the net. Atletico’s players protested over one of their defenders being prevented from jumping but their protests weren’t paid any heed to by the referee.
Real Madrid then had plenty of shots on target and off of it. Ronaldo was relentless in his attempts on goal but De Gea was equal to the task and kept us at bay where we could have easily been ahead by a considerable margin.
At half time, Real Madrid were tied with Atletico Madrid at 1-1.
61 minutes – In the second half, after numerous tries and attempts, Ozil supplied a splendid chip pass for Ronaldo to slid into and put Los Blancos ahead in the 61st minute.
Diego Forlan could have equalised matters for Atletico later but his shot hit the post with Casillas not in the picture after Aguero’s splendid effort and our shoddy defence.
90th minute – Ozil improved our advantage and gave us more room to breathe after numerous Atletico Madrid defencive errors put him through into the box with De Gea to beat and he did so with utter ease. 3-1 on the night and in the first leg for Real Madrid.
- Forlan on two instances was free to score with no defender on his side. He complied on the first and thankfully his second effort hit the woodwork. Defence needs to be more alert than that but besides that the defence was solid. Or service to the two forwards was extremely poor. They probably lacked the quality of Simao in the side.
- Marcelo and Ronaldo were brilliant with their link up play and also individually. Ronaldo had a shot every six minutes thus highlighting his intentions and the hunger that keeps him going. Marcelo has already proved time and time again this season that he’s grown as a player and its evident from the confidence he has in his dribbling skills and trickery.
- Atletico take an away goal into the second leg at Vicente Calderon on January 20. Two goal margin might just be enough but the away goal for Atletico might come to hurt us.
- We usually criticise the referee but I would take this opportunity to comment that the referee’s performance in the game was superb. He allowed the play to go on and didn’t go crazy with yellow cards (or red!) which is a very good sign and hope this consistency is seen on other referees too.
What did you make of the game? You know how to voice yourself!