In the last minutes of added time, the Metropolitan killed a moribund game by drowning it in the fiery delirium of its emotional cauldron. Atlético had demolished their neighbor and the stands sped up the clock between oles, and the footballers with a low-intensity brawl after a challenge by Bellingham on Correa. Simeone’s team maintained control until the end of a match in which Ancelotti recovered Kroos and Modric together for the first time this season, and lost for the first time, after the six initial victories, between the League and the Champions League. Atlético controlled the tempo and defeated with headers.
There was even almost half an hour during which the outlook pointed to an even greater collapse of Madrid, a scent similar to that classic at the Bernabéu of 0-4 with Modric as a false nine. That night Ancelotti admitted he was wrong. Although then the setback came with the League won and now in the midst of doubts while putting together a new team. At the Metropolitano, he surprised again with the Croatian involved. After his displeasure at the beginning of the season on the bench, the coach lined him up along with Kroos in the derby, the most notable match so far this season. To accommodate them, he modified the plan that had been taking shape in the weeks without Vinicius: Modric took Bellingham’s place at the apex of the midfield diamond, and the Englishman advanced a little further and acted as Joselu up front with Rodrygo.
Atlético, faithful to its recent functions with three centre-backs and two wing-backs, exploited the quick exit through the wings, crossing Real’s weak midfield. Simeone has found in Lino the replacement for the ability to cause chaos in attack which he lost with Carrasco’s last-minute march. That’s where the dismantling of Madrid began, as they once again conceded a goal right from the start.
Lino’s forward presence was indecipherable to them. The Brazilian found himself abandoned, he put in a cross, Morata beat Alaba and put the rojiblancos ahead when barely three minutes had been played. Everything was light in Madrid, as if looking from afar. And Simeone ordered to push even higher for a few minutes, to try to prolong the confusion. It was just a bite. Atlético lived calmly grouped at the back, because they immediately reached the top, crossing a central area that lost a lot of energy with the two veterans.
The second one was very similar to the first. Lino again entangled on the right, where he opened a space for Saúl’s advance. Griezmann headed his cross from 1.76 meters without either Fran García or Camavinga getting close to him. Madrid seemed adrift even though they kept the ball, which they moved from one side to the other, bordering the strip of just 15 meters in which Atlético was squeezed to contemplate, go out, and worry Kepa again. Griezmann covered that entire route, dedicated in defense and clairvoyant in attack.
A ball fell to Kroos in front of him, and he scored after a cutback. A brief period of Madrid onslaught followed, but Atlético managed to reach the break without further scratches.
Then Ancelotti’s rectification began to take shape, which will leave some wounds. Joselu, Tchouameni and Mendy stayed warming up, something unusual for the Italian. When they returned from the locker room, Modric sat on the bench with a lost look. Joselu entered the field, and Bellingham returned to the top of the diamond.
Lino didn’t care about everything. Immediately he struck again from the right, once again he left it to Saúl, and once again Morata scored with a header behind a desperate Alaba.
The control of the scene by Simeone’s team was overwhelming, pure Argentine manual: do the right thing, very well, and avoid having too much done to you. A little further down the wing, Ancelotti intervened again with a triple shake: he removed Fran García, Lucas Vázquez and Camavinga and introduced Mendy, Nacho and Tchouameni. The revolutions increased, but they hardly worried Oblak, with a bouquet of long shots and hanging balls in search of Joselu’s height in the area. Nothing. Pure desperation. And many doubts in Ancelotti’s corner.
The Post Demolition with headers from Atlético to Real Madrid | Sports
Originally Posted on elpais.com