What does the win over Atlético mean for Real Madrid's future?

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

With the league still in the air and a rematch between both Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid coming next month, it's normal to think about the impact this game will have in the race for La Liga.

More than one fan has probably wondered how is yesterday’s solid win is going to affect the future of both teams in La Liga. After all, Real Madrid is trailing Atlético de Madrid by just three points and they have their La Liga rematch next month.

First, let’s discuss yesterday’s game a bit. Was Real Madrid’s win over Atlético de Madrid a product of a team being better than the other one? Or was it just a team having all the luck it didn’t have in the last CDR Final?

Well, both.

Real Madrid looked really good, much better than the previous match against Atlético in La Liga. The defensive side didn’t rely on luck or anything magical to hold Diego Costa and co. yesterday. It was solid work by all four defensemen, led by Pepe and with the aid of Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric.

A lot of people (myself included) thought that Carlo Ancelotti’s squad was going to have a very complicated night. Atlético is a great team, superbly coached by Diego Simeone and with guys like Costa that can drive you crazy even with the ball being played 50 meters away from his feet.

Still, Real Madrid behaved really well, with the exception of one dumb play by Álvaro Arbeloa. They turned the dirty game against Costa himself and won every round fought between the two sides. As big as keeping a clean sheet (Iker Casillas probably sneezed a few times) driving Costa insane to the point of seeing a yellow card that will make him miss the second leg of Copa del Rey semifinals is an even bigger win.

Then we get to the offensive side.

It wasn’t the most brilliant night for guys like Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, guys who struggled all night long and yes, two goals were deflected shots. Saying good fortune was on Real Madrid’s side is not a lie. It’s all part of the game after all. That’s one of the big reasons why Atleti beat Madrid in the final last year. But, saying they defeated Atlético based on luck alone is a lie as big as the new Santiago Bernabéu (coming in 2018!)

Real Madrid dominated the entire match and the score is well deserved. Even a 2-0 looked like too much of a prize to a disappointing Atlético de Madrid team that did very little to win the game.

But what does this tell us for the future of both teams? Other than the fact that Real Madrid will most likely be a Copa del Rey finalist, not much.

Los Blancos will surely be motivated by the win. They should be. But this means absolutely nothing regarding their future rematch with Atlético in La Liga in nearly a month. Visiting them is going to be as tough as ever.

As good as this win was, it won’t matter much next month when both teams jump on the pitch of the Vicente Calderón. Costa will try to be more focused, Ronaldo will probably be a lot better and the rebounds might help no one at all. It’s going to be an entirely different game and atmosphere.

Does anyone seriously expect Atlético to be as bad as they were yesterday? Or even Real Madrid to be as good again? For the Colchoneros, they’ll be at home, with the historic chance of erasing their nemesis’s chance of winning La Liga. Simeone’s men won’t need any extra motivation.

As much as we loved yesterday’s performance, we shouldn’t read too much into it. It was a good win and we should enjoy it. Next week they’ll seal the semifinals and be a Copa del Rey finalist. That’s it. On to la Liga’s tough race again.

As good as a win is, it’s not more than just a game and in this particular case, in an entirely different tournament.

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