Cristiano Ronaldo Will Atone for Mistakes in Last Madrid Derby with Atletico
For those who have already forgotten, he was sent off in the 114th minute of the Copa del Rey final after a foul on Gabi.
Atletico had already been 2-1 up by that time, so it's not as if that moment turned the match on its head. But his sending-off all but assured that Madrid's crosstown rivals would be getting their first win since 1999. It was a shocking result, made more shocking by Ronaldo's red card.
It's a performance that has surely been weighing heavily on the star's mind as he prepares to take the field against Atletico on Saturday. The winger is extremely driven on and off the pitch. He will have been carrying a chip on his shoulder since May, and the only way he's going to get rid of it is by getting three points against Atletico.
Since Ronaldo's looking for revenge, Real supporters should expect a huge performance on Saturday.
History is certainly on his side. Despite that loss, Real Madrid have dominated this fixture. One match isn't all of a sudden going to swing the momentum completely toward the Vicente Calderon.
Aside from that Copa de Rey final, Ronaldo has otherwise been money in the Madrid derby. He's scored nine goals in nine appearances against Atletico, including one in each of the last four matches, via Real Madrid Twitter account.
He's got the speed and individual brilliance to break down what is an organized Atletico defense.
When it comes to winning the league, Carlo Ancelotti knows how important this match is for Madrid.
With their 2-0 win over Almeria, Barcelona have a three-point lead on Atletico and a five-point lead for Los Blancos. Nobody is really expecting Atletico to hang around for the entire season, so the focus is more on Madrid.
It may not seem like much, but being down five points this early in the season could be a major blow for Ancelotti. Barca aren't going to drop a lot of points this season. Madrid will have made it so that they will have to win just about every match for the rest of the league campaign.
Ronaldo will undoubtedly know this as well. He's aware of the ramifications of this match. Following a rather disappointing overall result against Elche during the week, everybody will be looking to him to get Madrid through this result.
And nine times out of 10, Ronaldo is there to answer the call.
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