Atletico Madrid beat fierce rivals Real Madrid 2-0 in the Copa Del Rey round of 16th match at Vicente Calderon courtesy a Raul Garcia penalty and Jose Gimenez’s header.
It was a highly anticipated match which marked the return of Fernando Torres to his boyhood club. Cristiano Ronaldo was on the bench for Real and so were the likes of Koke, Turan and Mandzikic for Atletico.
The match started at a ferocious pace with Real Madrid doing most of the attacking. Sergio Ramos almost scored in the first minute through a corner, only for the Atletico Goal keeper Jab Oblak to make a brilliant reflex save. Fernando Torres was looking very active and was in thick of things everytime Atletico attacked on the counter.
Real hit the back of the net through a Gareth Bale header, only for the linesman to rule it out correctly for off side. As nerves settled down, Atletico began to gain some control of the game with both Antinio Griezman and Torres pressing hard, which almost got them a goal when Griezman robbed Varane, but the Frenchman made up for his error with a superb sliding tackle. Another wave of attack from Real Madrid led to no reward as Atletico were disciplined at the back. The first half ended 0-0.
The second half was following the script of the first half for the first 10 minutes and it was all Real. But a moment of madness from Sergio Ramos in 56th minute who muscled down Raul Garcia in the penalty box and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Garcia, after winning the penalty made no mistake from the spot and against the run of play it was 1-0. The goal led to Cristaino Ronaldo and Jese coming on for Real, while Atletico bringing on Koke in place of Fernando Torres who faded and was looking rather tired and Ada Turan. As the match progressed, the contest became highly heated, with many unnecessary tackles flying in. Real pressed hard for an equaliser but failed to create any clear cut chance. Atletico won a corner in 75th minute and Jose Gimenez scored with a fantastic header, doubling their lead. Real again controlled the possession for the remainder of the match but failed to break a resilient Atletico defense.
As the referee blew the full time whistle, it was joy all around the stadium as Simeone’s men started a tough week of fixtures on a high as they face Barcelona next in La Liga in a crucial tie. As for Real, it was their second consecutive loss after a record breaking winning streak, and Ancelotti will soon look to go back to winning ways.
The next leg will be played at Santiago Bernabeu on 15th of January where Real Madrid will be looking to turn the tables on this tie.
Pursuing Computer Science Engineering from Bangalore Institute of Technology. Avid sports fan, specially football. A lifelong United supporter.