Ah, the Vicente Calderon… To be fair, it’s an intimidating place. But it’s exciting and while there are times I dread going there, I also love it. And what a match for me to return on!
I was going to keep my situation low key, but Managing Madrid sorta spilled the beans. So I guess I’ll just share. I’m in Afghanistan for a year. So my match posts might not be consistent from here on. I will do everything I can to get posts up, but I make no promises what-so-ever. Although I have it really well, things sometimes get rough around here.
Anyway, just so you’re all aware of the situation. Since I disappeared without a trace for a while.
Pre-Match Social Media:
I think Vazquez and Varane have the same PhotoShopper….
My second favorite Madridista basketball player was watching!
Former Canterano, Derek was watching the action from Bolton!
Atletico Madrid: Jan Oblak; Juanfran, Stefan Savic, Diego Godin, Filipe Luis, Koke, Gabi, Saul Ñiguez, Yannick Carrasco, Fernando Torres, Antione Griezmann
Real Madrid: Keylor Navas; Dani Carvajal, Nacho, Raphael Varane, Marcelo; Mateo Kovacic, Luka Modric, Isco; Lucas Vazquez, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo
The team looked good as they arrived to Real Madrid City ahead of the match. And our coach! PHWOAR!
I expected a draw (which you know if you follow me on Twitter). I haven’t seen a match in a month and I was basing it off what I was reading on Twitter from a few people. I knew Atleti had struggled recently but they usually play very well against us.
We started very well; much better than any matches I’ve seen previously this season. It was a positive start and I was optimistic early.
Atleti certainly had a couple of chances but our defense (and Navas) came up with some pretty big plays to keep the score at zeroes. Atleti were also not on target, which helps.
Crispy had his first shot in the 12th minute, which I swore was over the line. The ref said no, however and the remained scoreless. To be fair, it was a good save by Oblak if it wasn’t over the line. I’m still not convinced.
We earned a freekick and in the 23rd minute, Sir Tans-A-Lot had his first goal when it deflected off Savic. It was not a well-struck freekick, but who can complain when it means a goal for us?!
Gabi picked up the first yellow card of the match in the 26th minute for a bad tackle on Modric. DON’T BREAK OUR LUCKY LUKA!!!
In the 31st minute, Cris had another chance. It was a wonderful ball from Isco, who was having his best game in a long time, and Crispy turned brilliantly past Gabi but he was on his back foot and couldn’t get enough on it to put the ball past Oblak.
He was up for it!
The half ended Atleti 0 – 1 Real Madrid.
I wasn’t sure the pace of the first half could be kept up in the second half. And to start, Atleti looked like they going to spoil our lead.
They came very close a number of times in the opening minutes of the second half.
Atleti made their first subs in the 62nd minute. Correa and Gameira replaced Gabi and Torres. Replacing Gabi was a strange decision to me, but perhaps he was tiring.
In the 63rd minute, both Koke and Ronnie were booked when they came together. They were head-to-head, which is dangerously close to being a red card offense. I was a bit nervous as my stream froze.
Ronnie made up for it by earning a penalty in the 70th minute, which he put away cool as you like in the 71st minute. Was this real life?! My poor roommate thought I was having a seizure.
Cris finished his hat trick in the 77th minute with a fabulous counter-attacking goal. Isco put a great ball through for Bale, who then squared to Crispy for the one-touch finish.
He’s 32 folks! He’s still going strong and he pretty much still leaves me in amazement. He’s not human.
In the 79th minute, Vazquez picked up a yellow card.
Benzema replaced Isco in the 80th minute. Good to know he can get some minutes. I like having our mess of a Frenchman back.
In the 83rd minute, Ronnie got a rest when he was replaced by James.
Juanfran was given a yellow card in the 85th minute as Atleti just looked entirely frustrated.
In the 87th minute, Asensio came in for Vazquez. It wasn’t my little Lucas’ best match, but he didn’t do anything TOO terrible. And really, as consistent as he is, the odds are pretty good that he’ll have a bad match here and there. I’d prefer if that wasn’t against Barcelona or Atleti, however.
In the 2nd minute of added time, Carrasco had a good shot on goal but he was thwarted in typical, amazing, Navas fashion by our Costa Rican.
After 3 minutes of added time, that was it. We keep our spot at the top of the table!
Atletico Madrid 0 – 3 Real Madrid
“We read the game well, went in strong and I am happy because very few teams come here and win 0-3”.”, he declared.
Zinedine Zidane spoke in the press room at the Vicente Calderón and showed his satisfaction with Real Madrid’s derby win: “I’m not sure if it was our best performance since I arrived. We played a great game right from the beginning against tough opposition in a stadium where it is difficult to come and win. We read the game well, went in strong and I am happy with what we did because very few teams come here and win 0-3”.
“I am satisfied because it is not easy. The first 45 minutes were phenomenal. We had a few difficulties at the start of the second half, but it is normal because of the pressure the opposition put you under. After that we plugged away keeping up the good work we were doing. We had the right intensity against a tough rival who always make life hard for us here. We didn’t lose the ball much”.
Step closer to LaLiga?
“No, not at all. I am happy with the game and that is that. we haven’t won anything, just a game. We know the difficulties we will face right up to the end. We are in a good dynamic and we want to continue like this. Now we have a difficult game in the Champions League”.
“We knew it would be a challenging game, but we had to play from the start. I could see from the first minute that the team were very focused. We put Lucas Vázquez and Gareth Bale out on the wing in a 4-4-2, but the system wasn’t the most important thing, it was more what every player brought to the game themselves”.
“I don’t know that we needed it, but it’s significant because not many teams are going to come and win here. Before the match it was 50-50. We started very well, perhaps the result is a bit harsh on our opponents but we did a great job and we’re happy with Cristiano’s three goals and the work everyone put in. We read the game very well defensively as well”.
Madridista superiority in midfield
“The battle in the centre of the park is very important in the game today. Mateo, Modric and the others gave us a lot in the midfield. That’s how things were today, and we’ll see how we set up next week. We have to play good football and try to win”.
“You speak about problems, but I concentrate on the way Isco played and the performance of the guys who played today. Isco didn’t lose the ball once in the first half, playing in his best position behind Cristiano Ronaldo. I’m happy with all the players, the ones who didn’t play as well. We showed real balance in our play”.
Starts for Nacho and Lucas Vázquez
“Ramos wasn’t 100%. I don’t believe in taking a risk on a player. Lucas is an important player for the team and he had to play today and did a fantastic job, just like everyone else”.
Cristiano Ronaldo as a centre forward
“That’s how we did it today, but it’s not final. He was comfortable there and we’ll have to see how things go in other games”.
“Playing against Atlético is very difficult but we were incredible in terms of intensity”, stated Marcelo.
Isco started the game at the Vicente Calderón and had the flowing to say about his team’s performance in the derby: “I am happy with my work and the team’s work. Winning 0-3 here is difficult and it is something to be proud of. We went into the game really fired up, we had a lot of the ball and we got the first chances. After the goal perhaps we eased off a bit but we knew how grind Atlético down and we got an overwhelming result”.
“During the week we were working on this system and it worked out well in the end. The team struggled in certain moments but we came out on top”. We played perfectly, understanding each moment in the game and we are happy with the three points”.
“I took a knock to my ankle in the first half but I don’t think it was anything major. Players love to play these kind of games, I felt fine and in these games you can’t come off for any old issue”.
Marcelo: “We were the better team”
“Playing against Atlético is difficult but we were incredible in terms of intensity and we were able to make the right decisions in practically every moment. We were also strong at the back and did not concede. It is not a decisive moment because we still have a long way to go in LaLiga. We came here to work hard and we did that well, with the utmost humility and respect towards Atlético”.
“If you go in with intensity and fight for the ball it gives you more confidence in the game and you can play better. We didn’t lack intensity in any moment. It is difficult to play here but today we were better. You can never doubt Cristiano and those who do can watch the match again and look at what he did”.
Carvajal: “They are three very important points”
“We all worked hard and were happy in many different facets of the game. If everyone works hard we can play brilliantly. They were three very important points against a direct rival and we went out there to win”.
“Atlético start strongly, and they put us under real pressure in the first ten minutes, but we knew if we moved the ball well we could cause them problems and do some damage. I’m thrilled because I’d still never won here in La Liga”.
Cristiano and the Champions League
“I hope he wins the Balon d’Or, I think he deserves it. He gave another exhibition today. In the Champions League, we’ve got a difficult game on Tuesday and we have to win it to seal our place in the last sixteen”.
Nacho: “It was a perfect game”
“We played a perfect match in all areas of the pitch. We wanted to play a game like this against a strong opponent and at a ground like this. We knew it was important to get the win to open up a gap with our rivals but there’s still a long way to go in La Liga. We’re calm and we have to carry on like this. It was a very intense clash, the team put in a fantastic performance in every aspect and if we play like this we’re difficult to beat”.
“I’m very pleased for him. It’s beautiful to score goals at a ground like this. I never doubted him, nor did any of the team. We know what Cristiano can do and I hope he keeps up this run now”.
“We have been conceding a lot of goals but the team did a fantastic job today. Everyone helped us defenders out and we’re grateful for that. Picking up points like today is very important, but we have to take it step by step. Next up is the Champions League and we’re got to focus on that”.
Lucas Vázquez: “The team were at their best”
“It was a great opportunity to take a giant step forward and the team performed superbly from the off. Every game is important in La Liga, but today was a crucial match and the team were at their best. We have to be very happy with the way we played and this is how we have to carry on”.
Post-Match Social Media:
We’d barely heard the whistle before #ToniLive was commenting on the win at the Calderon
Sergio brought us the return of the locker room photo.
“Last derbi at the Calderon and three points. Vamos equipo!”
As did GareBear, Lukita, Kova, Baby Varane, Keylord, Vazquez, Nacho, and Cristiano… But I have to say, there is entirely too much clothing… (Translations where appropriate)
“Great victory. And excellent game by the whole team”
“Deserved victory in the derbi!!!”
“Proud of this team. VERY PROUD TO BE A MADRIDISTA.”
“Three important points in a special stadium. Great game by the whole team”
Iker got in on the love. I’m feeling all the feels…
“Last league derby in the Calderón and great victory for @realmadrid. A field that will be missed”
What a match to come back to for me! It felt like a complete team effort. And how immense was Nacho! I may not like having The Pony injured, but if Nacho is going to keep stepping up like that, give me more Stalker!
I’m only sad that we didn’t get any Sernando action….
We play Sporting CP on Tuesday for Champions League.
Our next Liga match is Saturday at home against Sporting Gijon.
Also a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our fearless leader Lozil! I don’t know what I would do without you. It’s because of you that I’ve made it this far in 2 years! I wouldn’t be on the podcast without you. Here’s to many more years of Real Madrid and hopefully more adventures!
¡Hala Madrid y Nada Mas!