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Four Takeaways From Real Madrid's 0-4 Defeat to Atlético Madrid

Hard to find silver linings in Real Madrid's stinging defeat to Atlético.

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

1. Atlético continue to edge Real: while we hoped the tide would finally turn in Real Madrid's favor, Atlético once again embarrassed the Whites. Why? The simple truth is that Atlético are playing better football than Real this season. We know Diego Simeone is a master motivator and his colchoneros played this game at home. We also know Real Madrid missed key players in this critical match. Still, Real Madrid began the game on the back foot and looked shell-shocked following Tiago's goal. Atlético are no longer a simple counterattacking team. They enjoyed possession and had their way with a Real Madrid side that failed to match their physicality, pace, and execution, particularly in the first half.

2. Ramos, Pepe, and Marcelo were sorely missed: due to injuries and suspension, Carlo Ancelotti fielded a back line of Carvajal, Varane, Nacho, and Coentrão that spelled disaster for the Whites. Neither Nacho nor Coentrão could contain the sheer strength and pace of Atlético's forwards, and nearly every last gasp clearance by Nacho resulted in a turnover. Coentrão offered nothing going forward and could do little but dive and foul to gain an edge over Simeone's men. While Fabio gets some slack considering it's his first game back from injury, his performance today highlights how important Marcelo's contributions are when breaking down a side like Atlético. Varane has yet to regain his pre-injury form.

3. Isco can't do it alone: Real Madrid's midfield trio of Isco-Kroos-Khedira was completely overrun in the first half. Not only were they unable to defend Atlético's barrages, they were also incapable of feeding the BBC. Isco was the only midfielder successfully transitioning from defense to offense with his sublime dribbling and ball control, but he naturally drew double teams from Atlético's players. Khedira once again failed to impress aside from some aerial clearances and Toni Kroos struggled to get his passes off. This team needs Luka Modric.

4. Ancelotti lacks answers: good thing we won La Decima, because Carlo Ancelotti has been outfoxed and outcoached in every single derby this season. Real Madrid have not defeated their crosstown rivals once this season in six possible opportunities, and Carletto's inability to draft a creative game plan in order to surprise Simeone has been disappointing and frankly unacceptable.

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