At full time the final score reads Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid. It was a game that got better and better as the time passed and it was a fair result. Neither team deserved to lose, but neither did enough to win. This score sets it up nicely for Atletico to finish the job in front of the home crowd with the away goal advantage. Carlo Ancelotti might feel that his team should have done better given the possession and fire-power at hand.
Half time Analysis
At half time, Real Madrid looked to be the team with more possession, but have not translated it into anything in attack. Real had been very poor in the final third with inaccurate passing and had been wasteful with the limited opportunities they’ve had. We have not seen enough of Ronaldo on the ball and most of the attack has come from the right flank through Gareth Bale.
The defensive line for Real has been solid though, they are consistently pressing up high giving Atletico limited space and time on the ball when they do recover it. Ronaldo needs to have more participation and more pressing up high from Kroos, he hasn’t been as influential on the game as he can be. Real has had a few shots on goal and a few off target as well, but nothing to trouble Moya.
‘El Cholo’s Atletico side is playing their game. Simeone may seem restless on the touchline, but he brings that passion into the game and possibly because his team doesn’t capitalize on their chances as well. Atletico started with less possession and with two early bookings of Koke and Siqueira.
The team is defending very well stifling every Real attack to Ancelotti’s displeasure. Koke has been class on the ball in my opinion. Mandzukic defending and aiding in recovery. Atletico started growing in confidence as time passed and the game became more balanced.
Full time Analysis
Ronaldo was subbed off at half time for James Rodriguez, reportedly due to an injury. The game started with Real Madrid once again with more possession and pressing up high. Real seemed to have more willingness to flood the box and attack. Toni Kroos missed what was the best chance all game up until that point after a rebound by Moya off a Bale free-kick. There was later some appeals for a handball when it seemed that Mario Suarez might have handled the ball intentionally.
Atletico with more of the same in the second half. Defending well and sitting back most of the time. They invited pressure, but were able to cope. Not many chances for Atletico either because even the front line was sitting deep as well. The game began to get more aggressive thus more bookings for the likes of Sergio Ramos, Raul Garcia, Mario Suarez, Mario Mandzukic, and Xabi Alonso.
The game changed at minute 81’ after a series of rebounds, the ball found James Rodriguez in the box and he slid it past Moya although it took a deflection on the way. It looked like Real came alive with the substitution of Di Maria on the field. The home win looked to be theirs when seven minutes later off a set-piece Raul Garcia ties the game up for Atletico. An exciting end to a hard fought game and everything to play for in the second leg.
Man of the Match
Man of the match for me would have to be Juanfran, Atletico’s Spanish right back. He was rock solid all match defending well against the likes of Ronaldo and Di Maria. His contribution was key to keep Atletico in the game. He may not have scored, but defending should be commended too and Juanfran shut down Real Madrid’s left side all game.
The return leg will be held at el Estadio Vicente Calderon on the 22nd of August. Atletico will have their home support and the away goal advantage. Ancelotti will look to better his team’s performance and come away with a win. It’s certainly an intriguing second leg ahead of us!