There was to be no winner nor loser as a rather drab Madrid derby ended with the share of the points at the Wanda Metropolitano, Sunday night.
Diego Simeone’s men could only manage a goalless draw with their eternal city rivals, as a rather satisfied Real Madrid return home with the point that kept their place at the top of the La Liga table.
Looking to make a statement with the Madrid derby, Atleti boss Simeone made two changes to his side that beat Real Mallorca during the week. Gimenez and Trippier returned to the fold to replace Arias and Felipe. Felix and Costa continued to lead the line.
Real’s Zinedine Zidane responded in similar coin, recalling his starting forwards back into the fold, leading the line with Benzema, Bale and Hazard for the derby match. All three players were rested against Osasuna.
Atletico Madrid’s terrible record against Real Madrid at home – winning just one of their last 18 La Liga home games, of which 12 were losses – meant it was never going to be easy getting the better of their city rivals.
It was all square at the break in the Madrid derby at the Wanda Metropolitano, with Atletico Madrid enjoying the best of the opportunities in the contest, both of which fell to Joao Felix.
The 19-year-old placed an early effort wide of the post after being released by Diego Costa, while he then blasted another strike wide after being teed up by Thomas Partey.
Real Madrid had been restricted to efforts from distance, although Toni Kroos almost found the bottom corner with a shot, only to be denied by a sharp save from Jan Oblak.
The story didn’t change much in the second half as both of the sides could not muster enough quality in the final third to break the deadlock.
The draw lifts Real back to the top of the table on 15 points while it also helped Atleti’s cause by catapulting Simeone’s men past Barcelona into joint second with Getafe with 14 points.