Real Madrid 1-0 Atletico Madrid: Hits and Flops | La Liga 2019-20
- Highlighting the hits and flops from Real Madrid's 1-0 victory over city rivals Atletico Madrid .
Flop #2 Sime Vrsaljko
A knee ligament injury sustained just six months into his loan spell with Inter Milan meant that Sime Vrsaljko was ruled out for over a year and he started his first game since January 2019 in the goalless draw with Leganes last weekend.
An injury to regular first-choice Kieran Trippier meant that Croatian international was once again handed a start in the Madrid derby but he showed signs of match rustiness, with his long layoff evident for all to see.
The 28-year-old was the weak link in the Atletico defence and he was simply unable to contain Ferland Mendy, with the Frenchman and Vinicius Jr running circles round him while he also did not contribute too much going forward.
Hit #1 Federico Valverde
Fede Valverde has grown from strength to strength since becoming a regular for Real Madrid and while he might not be the most famous of his peers, a case can be made to consider the 21-year-old the best midfielder in the team currently.
His tactical foul on Morata in the final of the Spanish Super Cup won him widespread praise and the Uruguayan international once again put up a masterclass in the heart of the midfield against the same opponents.
With Toni Kroos having made way for Vinicius Jr during the break, more responsibility was placed on the young shoulders of Valverde and he responded in kind, helping Real Madrid maintain control of the game with his tenacity in the middle.
A particularly vivacious play in the 77th minute that saw him dispossess Marcos Llorente and launch a counterattack summed up his performance on the day and earned him a deserved standing ovation from an impressed Santiago Bernabeu.