Real Madrid 2-0 Atlético de Madrid (Benzema & Asensio). Here is the immediate reaction to the derby win. On the way: press conference best bits, player ratings and the ManagingMadrid-derby podcast.
The league standing could not have gone better for Real Madrid so far during 2021/22. They found themselves four points clear at the top ahead of Sevilla in second, and a whopping 15 points in front of typical rivals Barcelona. Rotations were not on the mind of manager Carlo Ancelotti in recent times, however it seems to have pulled of thus far with four huge wins in four games against Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad and Inter Milan. It was no different today, with Karim Benzema sporting the captains armband in one of the strongest teams available for Carlo. There were Castilla graduates for both sides, with Mario Hermoso and Marcos Llorente returning to the Santiago Bernabéu.
✅ Our starting XI @atletienglish! #RealMadridAtleti pic.twitter.com/AAG8FDlPpZ— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) December 12, 2021
Real Madrid were riding a wave of confidence after consistent domestic form all year, and they dominated the ball throughout the first half. That superiority reaped reward when two of the stars of the season combined once more to give them the lead. Vinícius Júnior fed Karim Benzema with cross and the Frenchman volleyed the ball beyond Jan Oblak. Atlético offered little going forward and at times the game appeared straight forward for the hosts. Real didn’t create anything clear cut themselves for the remainder of the half, but they did look sharp after recovering the ball from Atlético mistakes - and posed more of a threat to justify their lead at half time.
We told you so...— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) December 12, 2021
️ @ViniJr https://t.co/O4961ajHTp
The second half started as the first ended, with Real Madrid dominating. It could have been two if Marco Asensio took less time on the ball inside the area before shooting. It turns out he did... The very next time he got the ball in that position, after Vinícius Júnior doubled his assist tally when he picked out Marco who finished really well first time. Luis Suárez was then brought on immediately to try and salvage something for the visitors, but it did little to effect the play. The intensity did drop, but this was in Real’s favour as they were able to see out the derby with little trouble. Thibaut Courtois was tested on the odd occasion, but the big man managed to match everything that came his way in typical fashion with some great saves. This 2-0 win momentarily puts them 8 points clear of Sevilla, and extends the gap over both Atlético and Barcelona who slipped up yet again, drawing 2-2 with Osasuna. Another perfect match-day... How happy are you, Madridistas?