Atletico Madrid 0-0 Real Madrid: 5 Hits & Flops from the game | La Liga 2019-20
Atletico Madrid welcomed Real Madrid to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium for the first Madrid derby of the season. Both sides were unable to find the net in a tough encounter that sadly ended in a stalemate. Real Madrid had more opportunities to take three points home, but their luck simply wasn't with them.
Diego Simeone opted to field his team in his standard 4-4-2 formation that saw Diego Costa and Joao Felix lead the attack line. Behind them, the midfield four contained Vitolo and Koke on the left and right wings respectively, with Thomas Partey and Saul Niguez sitting in the centre. The defensive four consisted of Renan Lodi on the left flank, Kieran Trippier on the right, and Jose Gimenez in the middle along with Stefan Savic. Jan Oblak was in goal and was as sharp as ever.
Zinedine Zidane, on the other hand, opted for a 4-1-4-1 formation that kept Karim Benzema as the lone striker. His 4-1-4-1 could easily shift into a 4-3-3 or a 4-1-2-3 with very little tactical change. On the left-wing, Eden Hazard drove the attack, with Nacho in defence. On the right, Gareth Bale was set for attack, along with marauding defender Daniel Carvajal. In the middle, Federico Valverde and Toni Kroos held ground, with Casemiro playing deeper. In defence, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos held down the centre, while Thibaut Courtois was chosen in goal.
Notably, Real Madrid had twice as many shots as their rivals, but both sides were poor in keeping those shots on target. Atletico managed only one shot on target, while Real managed just three.
Beside this, Los Blancos held most of the possession, effectively keeping Atletico away from the ball and looking for counter opportunities. However, those chances ended up quite futile, with Los Rojiblancos finally getting their first shot on target late in the second half.
Without further ado, let's take a look at three players who impressed, and two who played poorly.
#5 Hit - Saul Niguez
The 24-year-old midfielder did a good job holding down the midfield for Los Rojiblancos, even though Real saw most of the possession.
Niguez played a more defensive role than Thomas Partey, making three tackles, three interceptions, and five clearances. He also committed four fouls, the joint-highest by a single player on the pitch today.
While he did not do much in attack, Niguez managed a shot at goal, kept up a passing accuracy of 88%, and won four aerial duels.