Real Madrid 1-0 Atletico Madrid: 3 stand-out performers| La Liga 2019-20
Real Madrid defeated city rivals Atletico Madrid 1-0 on Saturday to extend their lead at the summit of La Liga. It was a well contested and a tense game but Karim Benzema made the breakthrough and that was enough for the league leaders.
Zinedine Zidane’s team are now 13 points clear of their city rivals. There is still a long way to go but Real Madrid are starting to look like Champions elect. Barcelona are six points behind Los Blancos but have a game in hand; the Catalan giants will play Levante tonight.
Atletico Madrid came into the game under pressure but they responded to the desperate situation with an impressive first half display. But it wasn't enough as Benzema's second half goal gave Real Madrid the three points and stretched the home side’s run of unbeaten games to 21 in all competitions.
Keeping all that in mind, let us take a look at the three stand-out performers from the Madrid derby at the Benabeu:
#3 Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema has been amazing this season and it was his goal again which helped Zidane and his team to come out victorious on Saturday. Although at times he was kept out of the game by the Atletico defenders, the Frenchman was at the right place at the right time to score the goal.
It was Benzema’s first goal in a Madrid derby at the Bernabeu and it couldn't have come at a better time. The 32-year-old now has 13 goals in the league this season and only a certain Lionel Messi has scored more. Benzema has taken the responsibility to lead Real Madrid's line and has been excellent this season.
#2 Vinicius Jr
This can be put under the section of Zidane masterclass. A half-time substitution saw Toni Kroos make way for the lively Vinicius Jr. The winger came on at half-time and set the game up with a lovely pass to Ferland Mendy which led to the all-important goal.
Vinicius ripped Atletico’s defence with some dazzling runs and showed the game-defining presence he possesses with his pace and dribbling. His tempo completely changed the game, and like last season, he was a handful for the away side to deal with.
#1 Ferland Mendy
It was a solid display by the left-back, who is starting to show his worth now. He was a little vulnerable when it came to positional sense but showed some brilliant defensive covering. But it was in the opposite end of the pitch where Ferland Mendy made his mark the most as he provided the assist for the only goal of the game - a sumptuous cross for Benzema, who found the back of the net.
Mendy and Vinicius were combining dangerously on that left-wing and were too hot to handle in the second half. It was a very good display from Mendy, who is capable of eventually becoming a successor to club legend Marcelo, and his latest performance shows that.
Published 02 Feb 2020, 09:30 IST