Bengaluru, Sep 29: This season's first instalment of the Madrid Derby ended in all square as the Capital rivals Atletico Madrid played out a tense draw with Real Madrid.
Real looked firm throughout and this point takes them back to the top of the league with Zinedine Zidane's men still unbeaten in the league. The French tactician, however, may feel frustrated his side couldn't make it four wins in a row given they had the better chances.
Gareth Bale should have scored in the second half while the best chance befell to Karim Benzema near the end but Jan Oblak made a spectacular save from his header. Madrid, however, will be encouraged by the strong defensive display at away game.
Simeone's men too had some half-decent chances coming towards them as Diego Costa and Joao Felix both went close in the first half but most of the game Courtois was not tested. Oblak, however, was the star player of the game, making some scintillating saves to earn one point at least. This result keeps Real Madrid top of La Liga with just one point separating them from Atletico Madrid in third place.
With Real repeatedly creating chances, the Slovenian shot-stopper came on top every time proving why he is rated as one of the very best goalkeepers in the world. He twice denied Toni Kroos, as the German belted in shots from outside the box. His best moment came in the game around 75th minute when he pulled off a remarkable save to stop a Benzema header just 6 yards out by reflexively diving and blocking the Frenchman's brilliant header which was arguably Real Madrid's best chance of the game.
The Ghanaian player is a wonderful box-to-box midfielder, but last night he produced a wonderfully disciplined display. Much of Atletico's attacking play ran through the 25-year-old, dictating things with his passing from midfield while also breaking up plenty of Real Madrid attacks in the process. He also created a superb ball across the six-yard box which Costa couldn't reach.
After conceding nine goals in first five games of the season, Zidane's side suddenly looked firm on the defensive third after three back to back clean sheets. In a pragmatic approach, Zidane put two defensive-minded midfielders in the game with Casemiro and Valverde and both stood out doing the dirty work. But the solidness mostly was shown by the backline mainly, as all the four names in the defensive third stood out firm.
The combination of Ramos and Varane looked to be hard to get past while Carvajal too was back to his best in the game. Nacho who was called into the side due to injuries to Marcelo and Mendy, too probably was the best defender in the game last night. They have looked virtually impassable since switching to a very compact way of defending after their massive loss to PSG in the Champions League which is certainly producing returns.