Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
Despite starting the game without mainstays Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Xabi Alonso, Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos in the lineup, Real Madrid managed to earn a 2-1 victory in the Madrid Derby over rivals Atletico Madrid and all but wrapped up a second-place finish on La Liga's table.
Shockingly, Atletico Madrid last beat Real Madrid in the Madrid Derby in 1999. That's a long time, folks. The Madrid Derby might as well be called the Real Madrid Derby at this point.
It took an own goal from Francisco Juanfran and a brilliant strike from winger Angel di Maria, but Los Blancos earned the three points in a pretty sloppy game that was riddled with fouls and yellow cards.
But Real Madrid would equalize in the 13th minute. A Di Maria free kick would clear the crowd before taking an unfortunate bounce off of Juanfran and bouncing into the net for an own goal.
The first half was marred by sloppy play and a lot of fouls. Atletico Madrid failed to score on several promising free-kick opportunities while it was clear that Real Madrid's B-team was on the pitch.
Atletico Madrid would have the best opportunity 10 minutes into the second half, but Gabi would fail to even put a shot on goal after he found himself in the clear on the edge of the box. It appeared as though the grass rose up and deflected his attempt on behalf of Real Madrid.
Minutes later, it looked as though Falcao was fouled in the box by Michael Essien, but the referee waved play on to the chagrin of Atletico.
Despite Atletico dominating the first 18 minutes of the second half, it was Real Madrid that would get the go-ahead goal. A streaking Di Maria was fed a through ball and didn't disappoint, sending a low shot across the face of goal and past a diving Thibaut Courtois.
Atletico Madrid continued to press forward, however, inspired by the energy added by second-half substitute Adrian, who brilliantly set up Filipe Luis on the left side of the box in the 85th minute. The Brazilian's shot veered just wide, however, finding the side netting.
Atletico continued to attack, but the shaky Los Blancos defense held strong, and Real Madrid escaped with a 2-1 win and the Madrid Derby streak still intact.
Diego Lopez, Real Madrid: B+
I couldn't give him an "A" since he blundered the game's first goal, but beyond that, he was quite good behind a nervy Real defense. Though Atletico flubbed several nice opportunities, Lopez's positioning was excellent throughout, and he came off his line several times to thwart Atletico's aerial threat. A solid game from the keeper.
Radamel Falcao, Atletico Madrid: B-
He scored the first goal and was certainly busy, but for me, Falcao wasn't quite as involved in the attack as I've come to expect. Admittedly, the service into the box for him wasn't always great, but the team's best player has had far better performances this season.
Angel di Maria, Real Madrid: A
His free kick set up the first goal. He scored the winner. On a day when Los Blancos didn't show a whole lot of class on the attack, Di Maria was a bright spot.
All he didn't do was score. His work rate was fantastic; he consistently was a bother for the Real defense, and he pushed the Atletico attack forward the entire game. Atletico may have lacked a cutting edge in the final third, but Costa did everything he could to lead his teammates to the win.
The Referee and Linesmen: F
I don't like to grade the referee and linesmen for the most part, but this group was pretty brutal on Saturday. The concept of what constitutes an offsides call was apparently changed during this match, while non-fouls led to yellow cards and Costa somehow got carded after he went down despite clearly having his leg clipped in the second half.
In a game that wasn't played at an elite level, adding the flubs from the referees was the last thing this match needed.
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