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La Liga, Atlético de Madrid vs Real Madrid: Match review

Real Madrid complete a embarrassing performance against a much-stronger, tactically ready and willing Atlético de Madrid side.

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

This was an embarrassing performance and a pathetic effort from each one of the Real Madrid players that stepped on the Vicente Calderón pitch. Ramos, James, Pepe and Modric were out, but there are no excuses for Real's display in what was the worst performance by a Real Madrid as a club in quite some time. Atlético de Madrid completely dominated Ancelotti's team and put out their own remix of FC Barcelona's 5-0 domination from five seasons ago.

Carlo Ancelotti just got everything wrong, from his tactics -- although his starting XI was well expected -- to the motivation of his players. To put it mildly, Sami Khedira should not be given another chance to wear Real Madrid's shirt until he leaves this summer as a free agent. The German midfielder doesn't want to be there, and Ancelotti, his teammates and President Florentino Pérez need to acknowledge that.

It was easy to tell that everything was going to go the wrong way when Casillas let this happen.

And suddenly, after just 14 minutes of play and on Atlético's first attempt, Simeone's side were ahead on the scoreboard. The Calderón crowed thanked Casillas by singing his name, and that's something that should not be taken lightly. After all, one of the most memorable events of recent Derby history is the Bernabéu signing "Perea, Perea". Sign of the times.

During the pre-match press conference, Ancelotti said that Casillas was finally calm and enjoying one of his best moments as of late. So far so good. Nobody will ever be able to say how the game would've ended without that early goal, but it did not help, that's for certain.

After that, Real Madrid completely lost it. Atlético ran Los Blancos off the pitch and minutes later Saúl scored a beautiful bicycle-kick goal. Real Madrid appeared to regain control of the game for the last 15 minutes of the first half, but Atlético stood their ground and managed to get to the 45-minute mark with a 2-0 lead.

Ancelotti tried to shake things up by introducing Jesé right after halftime, replacing Khedira. This seemed like the right substitution, as Real were lacking inspiration and creativity to break through Atlético's wall, but Simeone's men just took care of business even better by showing how important the physical and motivational part of the game is. Isco and Kroos -- even though they at least tried -- could not do anything against Atleti's midfielders. When Los Rojiblancos scored the 3-0, Ancelotti decided to take Isco off and introduce Illarramendi. It was a surprising move, and while some might say that he was trying to avoid injuries to one of his most important players, it wasn't fair to regard Isco's decent performance with a substitution.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale both completed the whole game and many questions arise about their current form. The 2014 FIFA Ballon D'Or winner is clearly going through tough moments. Ronaldo was arguably one of the 3 worst players on the pitch, and when he got suspended, it was said that he would use the time off to recover and get ready for this match. Bale, on the other hand, keeps completing frustrating performances on the right wing. It's true that it's never easy to be an attacker against Atlético, but this was not acceptable.

All in all, Real Madrid never showed the pride needed to fight against Atlético de Madrid. Simeone's men were clearly the better team but Casillas, Nacho, Khedira, Ronaldo and co. never competed. Real Madrid will now be one point ahead of Barcelona if they earn the three points at San Mamés this Sunday and four points ahead of an Atlético de Madrid side that would've said good-bye to La Liga with a loss.

Still plenty to go. Whether that's a good thing or not remains to be seen.

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