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Real Madrid - Atletico de Madrid, Liga BBVA 2014-15: Lack of consistency dooms Real (1-2)

20 good minutes are never enough to win a Madrid Derby. And that's what Real Madrid tried to provided today. Nothing else.

Denis Doyle

Real Madrid got off to a shaky start conceding a goal on yet another set piece opportunity. Four Atletico de Madrid players were bothering Casillas on the six-yard box while the defenders on the near post were not active enough to stop Tiago's effort to reach the ball. 11th minutes in, just one corner-kick and Atletico were up 0-1. Luckily enough for Real Madrid, Ancelotti wasn't lying when he said that Cristiano Ronaldo was "100% ready" for this match. The Portuguese star single-handedly allowed Real Madrid to reach the box, and Siqueira brought him down in what was a crystal-clear call for the referee. Cristiano converted from the spot. What was interesting is that Ronaldo played as a second striker this Derby, with a very strong tendency to attack from the right wing.

That equaliser fired Real Madrid up, and the last 20 minutes of the first half were a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, the clock ran too fast -Atletico's classic time-wasting skills helped- and both teams reached half time with 1-1 in the scoreboard. One thing that should be noticed is how the Santiago Bernabeu whistled Iker Casillas every time he touched the ball after conceding Atleti's first goal. It seems that the fans are ready for some changes on Real's goal considering how the squad is struggling on defending set pieces. Casillas wasn't to blame for that first goal, but his woes on the air are clearly affecting how Real Madrid defend this chances. Maybe it's time to unleash Keylor Navas and give him a chance.

Real Madrid did not keep up with how the first half ended. Tactically speaking, nothing really changed, but the pace was certainly different and Atletico benefited from that. Ancelotti tried to change the way Real Madrid were attacking by introducing Chicharito, and Isco replaced Gareth Bale shortly after. The Welshman wasn't brilliant, but Ancelotti could've tried to change Modric -who was as mediocre- just to keep some firepower on the pitch, because Atleti weren't threating Madrid's defensive line much.

Still, Arda and Griezmann, who came in during the second half, controlled the game brilliantly and prevented Madrid from dominating the game. That was before Arda's goal. Once again, Real's defenders just weren't active enough and left two Atletico players unmarked on the box. This team is clearly lacking some defensive work on the training session, and Ancelotti and his coaching staff are surely frustrated with the team's inconsistency. 20 minutes are never enough to get a win in the Spanish Liga BBVA, at least not against the top dogs, so Ancelotti's efforts to establish this starting XI are probably over.

One way or another, Real Madrid are now six points away from Barcelona in the Liga BBVA table having played just three games. That's not that big of a margin, but the players are not showing signs for improvement and that's what needs to be solved at this moment.

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