Real Madrid 3-0 Atletico Madrid: 6 Things We Learned

Paul Wilkes@@paulwilkesfootyFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2014

Real Madrid 3-0 Atletico Madrid: 6 Things We Learned

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    The Madrid derby is one of the biggest games in the Spanish calendar and, due to the success of both teams from the capital, they are meeting more frequently.

    It used to be a one-sided affair with the more expensively assembled Real Madrid dominating games and Atletico Madrid suffering from some sort of inferiority complex.

    That's not the case anymore, with Diego Simeone building a team in the image of himself both physically and mentally.

    Here in the first leg of the semi-final in the Copa del Rey, we take a look at six things we learned:

Few Changes Show How the Managers View the Competition

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    Make no mistake about it: Both coaches want to win these matches and take the trophy.

    Both teams made just three changes each to the sides that played at the weekend.

    They are close in the league and the Champions League resumes in a fortnight, but this wasn't the time to rest players.

    Atletico wanted to continue their momentum, whilst Real Madrid wanted revenge for last May.

You Can't Plan for Luck

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    Pepe opened the scoring after his long-range effort took a wicked deflection off left-back Emiliano Insua and beat Thibaut Courtois.

    The second the ball crossed the line, Diego Simeone was signalling to his players to get back up the pitch and take the kick-off.

    There was no ranting or raving from the manager, his demeanour was calm and relaxed.

    He knew that his team had competed for every ball, they were playing okay until then and his tactics weren't the reason they conceded.

    It was an unfortunate way to lose a goal, but there was very little Atletico could have done to prevent it from happening.

    The same applied when Angel di Maria's shot for the third was also diverted, this time from the boot of Miranda.

The Two Sides Will Push the Boundaries in Order to Win

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    You had to feel sorry for the referee, he needed eyes in the back of his head for this one.

    Unsurprisingly, Diego Costa was in the thick of the action, bouncing off the Real Madrid defenders like a pinball.

    Alvaro Arbeloa could have had three penalties given against him, including raking his foot down the leg of Costa.

    Pepe was just Pepe and even the normally cool Xabi Alonso was riled, whilst Diego Ribas and Diego Godin were late on Cristiano Ronaldo.

    That was just the first half; both teams were guilty and had the referee acted on all incidents, there would have been few players left on the pitch.

Jese Is the Real Deal

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    It was a superb reverse run by the youngster and his finish was just as clever as he didn't break stride to give Los Blancos a 2-0 lead.

    His pace and movement gave Insua a difficult time all evening, and he deserved the standing ovation he received when substituted for Isco.

    This wasn't the fifth goal in a 5-0 thrashing, it was an important strike in a high-pressure situation.

    He now has three goals in as many games after scoring in his full league debut at the new San Mames at the weekend.

Atletico Were Not at the Races

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    Atletico certainly started at a quick tempo, and although Real Madrid had more of the ball in the first half, they created very few clear-cut opportunities.

    But the goal changed everything, they never recovered and when Real Madrid grew into the game, Atletico surprisingly reverted into their shell.

    It was only their second defeat of the season, and the bitter taste should ensure it doesn't happen too often between now and the end of the campaign.

Simeone's Changes Had Little Impact

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    Atletico started in a 4-2-3-1, with Diego in the hole. At half-time, the Brazilian was withdrawn as he wasn't as disciplined defensively and naturally looked off the pace.

    Shortly after Real Madrid went 2-0 up, Adrian was introduced for Arda Turan but made no significant difference.

    By the time Jose Sosa joined proceedings, the game—and the tie—was getting away from Los Rojiblancos.