February 9, 2019 1:00 p.m.
Updated February 9, 2019 15:58
Real Madrid hit effectively, knocked out Atletico Madrid and won the derby of Metropolitan Wanda (1-3) to believe in the championship, now second as the main pursuer and alternative to the leadership of Barcelona, after a duel with more tension, controversy and VAR than football and opportunities.
Five points, awaiting the result of Sunday's team against Athletic Athletic San Mamés, the white team reborn in a competition that seemed lost recently, which is dismissed little by little Athletic, now in third and this Saturday doubled by his rival "eternal", stronger in the details.
Two of the four goals required confirmation of the VAR, also somewhat canceled due to an impediment to Alvaro Morata, but in all there was a coincidence: the rival error. In those of Real Madrid, negligence in a standing ball, imprudence in a penalty shootout and loss of a ball, the same cause that caused the goal of Atletico, defeated by the first this season in his home. The derby overflowed with tension. It was final for both of us. Winning or Winning There was no other way to stay alive in the championship.
One of those encounters in which the intensity, the friction and the fierce battle of each ball turn any combination into a circumstance, rather than a formula to approach the goal goal. A duel this Saturday much more passionate than football, which penalized all the mistakes made in the first half. There was no game, there were flaws … And there were goals. Almost always without intuiting this. No one had the volume of skill or imagination or enough time to assume that the goal was really within reach of each one, pursued by the main sectors of the field by his opponent.
Without an offensive continuity, in addition to the appearances at full speed and agility of Vinicius or between lines of Karim Benzema, on the one hand, or Antoine Griezmann, in the other, nobody expected the 0-1 of Real Madrid. It was the first time, has already exceeded the quarter of an hour, besides some threats and the high pressure of the local block. A corner kick for Sergio Ramos in which ran for three rival rojiblancos to avoid his shot, without watching the rejection also account. And there, with no one by his side, without scoring his mark for Thomas, he had all the space in the Casemiro world to connect the Chilean average to 0-1 on the scoreboard.
None was seen in the 1-1 nine minutes after Atletico, hit by the goal, but revived by a return race of Vinicius who, between the contact – the Brazilian claimed guilty – and the position of Sergio Ramos, allowed Correa to throw a near as decisive a pass for Griezmann as the definition of the French, who subtly drew under the legs Courtois (1-1) exit.
The goal, invalid at first by impediment, was confirmed by the VAR. Nor did anyone intuit at the same time the result of the first half, closed with 1-2 in favor of Real Madrid. The merit was Vinicius; the imprudence of Giménez. Unabated then the Brazilian for him, the Uruguayan knocked down when he had already overflowed, but when he was so high he lost the prospect of the goal. At the limit? In or out of the area?
The referee scored a penalty, the VAR ratified and Sergio Ramos turned into the 1-2, which confirmed a recurring feeling: Real Madrid's best asset in the attack was Vinicius, whose stinginess and overflow of the left end kept Arias in suspense, to Giménez and to Godín. Then it was replaced. Not only that.
Athletic did not play as much as they wanted in the opposite field. And Morata had not yet appeared. Yes, it happened the second time, in an isolated action. In the absence of transitions, the rojiblanco team played the most direct mechanism: a long pass from Giménez to the unmarked striker, who controlled with the same ability with which he threw the ball before Courtois directly into the net. Once again for the VAR. Again to the limit.
The referee and the video dictated that he was out of the game, again with a wait time. Goal cleared, frustration at Atletico and relief for Real Madrid, while minutes passed and almost nothing in the areas except for the volleyball that Giménez proposed with Courtois' consequent response.
Needed more of Atletico, who claimed a penalty in Morata, but whose sporadic offensive bursts were insufficient to level the showdown, while Real Madrid awaited him in anticipation, cautious and armed to see what the red and white team was able and almost disappeared from the other area until he gave the final blow. After Athletic's umpteenth loss, Bale made the Modric pass to claim that his team believes in LaLiga.