Atletico Madrid 0-0 Real Madrid: City rivals share the spoils
By Oliver Young-Myles
Last Updated: 19/11/17 2:37pm
Neither Atletico Madrid nor Real Madrid were able to close the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona as they played out an absorbing 0-0 draw in the Madrid derby at Wanda Metropolitano.
In a game that usually delivers goals, chances were few and far between although Angel Correa, Toni Kroos and Kevin Gameiro will all feel that they should have scored.
Both teams' big players failed to deliver with Antoine Griezmann extending his goalless run for Atletico to eight games while Cristiano Ronaldo's worst start to a La Liga season continued as he endured a frustrating evening.
It was a game that both teams needed to win but they had to settle for a share of the spoils, much to the delight of Barcelona who are now ten points clear of the duo at the top of the table.
Atletico should have taken the lead inside the three minutes after sloppy play from both Marcelo and Raphael Varane led to Correa being clean through on goal. However, with only Kiko Casilla to beat, the Argentine dinked his effort wide of the post when it looked easier to score.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak (6), Juanfran (6), Godin (8), Savic (8), Lucas (7), Saul (6), Thomas (6), Gabi (6), Koke (7), Correa (6), Griezmann (5)
Subs: Carrasco (5), Torres (6), Gameiro (6)
Real Madrid: Casilla (6), Carvajal (7), Varane (8), Ramos (6), Marcelo (7), Casemiro (6), Kroos (7), Modric (6), Isco (7), Benzema (5), Ronaldo (5)
Subs: Nacho (6), Asensio (N/A)
Man of the match: Stefan Savic
With both Karim Benzema and Ronaldo subdued, it was Kroos who had Real Madrid's first big chance as he played a neat one-two with Ronaldo before lifting a delicate shot fractionally wide of the post under pressure from Diego Godin.
Moments later Sergio Ramos received a hefty whack to the face from Lucas Hernandez's boot as he headed an effort wide of the post from close range. The Real captain had blood pouring from his nose and while he was patched up by the physio, he made way at half-time with Nacho taking his place.
An uneventful second half was livened up with ten minutes remaining when Atletico's attacking substitutes Fernando Torres and Gameiro combined inside the Real box with the latter unfortunate to see a goalbound chip cleared off the line by the covering Varane.
Diego Simeone made one change to his side with Koke replacing Augusto Fernandez in midfield while both Filipe Luis and Yannick Carrasco were named on the bench.Real Madrid made three changes as Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane and Luka Modric came into the team in place of Nacho, Jesus Vallejo and Marco Asensio.
Both teams had reasonable penalty appeals waved away late on and Juanfran was incredibly fortunate to avoid a sending off after he hauled back Marcelo just a matter of minutes after receiving a yellow card for upending Isco. Jan Oblak had a nervy moment in goal when he fumbled a Kroos shot back into danger but Diego Godin was on hand to smuggle the rebound away from Ronaldo.
And in the final minute, Ronaldo looked destined to seal the win for Real after being played through by Marcelo but his shot from close-range was brilliantly and miraculously blocked away from goal by the covering Lucas in a challenge that epitomised the game with defenders winning their duels against the attackers.
Man of the match - Stefan Savic
The man of the match award could have gone to any of Diego Godin, Raphael Varane or Savic as the defenders dominated the attackers, but the Montenegrin just shades it due to his expert positional play.
Real frequently found themselves in promising situations down the flanks, but their crosses into the box were continuously repelled by Savic who was in the right place at the right time on countless occasions.
Both teams have Champions League football to look forward to next week.
Atletico have a pivotal game at the Wanda Metropolitano as they face Roma on Wednesday with their qualification hopes in jeopardy.
Real, meanwhile, travel to Cyprus to face APOEL on Tuesday and they will be looking to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham last time out.