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Atletico Madrid 0-0 Real Madrid: 3 reasons why the game ended in a draw | LaLiga 2019-20

  • Real and Atletico played out a barren draw at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, and here are the factors that contributed to that.
Tony Akatugba
Modified 01 Oct 2019, 10:19 IST

Real Madrid
Real Madrid's Karim Benzema

This season's first installment of the Madrid Derby ended in a stalemate, as neither side was able to break the deadlock.

Atletico Madrid had the better first half, with the 19-year-old Joao Felix missing some gilt-edged chances. Real Madrid's best chance in the first half fell to Toni Kroos, but Jan Oblak was on hand to deny the German international.

Los Blancos were somewhat the better side in the second half as Oblak stood tall once again to deny Karim Benzema in perhaps Madrid's best chance of the game.

Gareth Bale also put in a decent shift, but his best efforts were nowhere near the target. In the middle of the park, Casemiro and Thomas Partey stood tall, screening their defences efficiently and helping their sides recycle possession.

At the end of the day neither manager seemed totally determined to force the issue, but Zinedine Zidane will be the happier manager because he gets to remain unbeaten, stay top of the table, and take a point away from the Wanda Metropolitano.

In this article, we try to make sense of the barren draw.

#3 A pragmatic approach to the game

Real Madrid
Real Madrid's Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid now haven't conceded a goal in three games. They have looked virtually impenetrable since switching to a very compact way of defending in the wake of the heavy loss to PSG in the Champions League.

This new defensive orientation has yielded fruit; against Atletico, Los Blancos continued in the same vein with the likes of Casemiro, Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane defending with aplomb for much of the game.


In fact, their opponents also seemed to be eschewing the gung-ho approach. Apart from a very vibrant first few minutes from Atletico Madrid, both sides seemed to be demonstrating a rather large helping of respect for one other.

This was even more evident in the second half when the Madrid boss decided to send on Luka Modric and James Rodriguez, who are ball retainers, rather than bringing on a more direct player like Vinicius Junior.

#2 Tame attacks

Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix (centre)

When a game ends in a goalless draw, it is usually an indication of the defenders cancelling out the forwards. That was indeed the story in El Derbi.

Both sides had a healthy helping of shots, with a combined total of 21. However, few hit target as the attackers troubled the goalkeepers a paltry four times in total.

We saw shots glancing across the goalmouth and over the bar, with the likes of Joao Felix and Gareth Bale the most notable culprits.

The centre backs also stood their ground for much of the game, as they repelled incursions into the box and cancelled attacking maneuvers with aplomb.

#1 Outstanding Jan Oblak

Jan Oblak cancels Real Madrid
Jan Oblak cancels Real Madrid's best chance

Jan Oblak is touted as one of the very best goalkeepers in the world, and once again he showed his pedigree.

In a game where the attackers rarely hit the mark, he was on hand the few times there was a threat. He twice denied Toni Kroos, as the German belted in shots from outside the box.

Oblak's most crucial contribution came in the 75th minute, with the Slovenian shot-stopper denying Benzema by reflexively diving and blocking the Frenchman's brilliant header. That was arguably Real Madrid's best chance of the game.

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Published 29 Sep 2019, 09:12 IST
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