Atletico prove they are Real deal
Gareth Bale’s long-awaited Real Madrid home debut ended in disappointment as Atletico Madrid beat Los Blancos 1-0 to register their first league victory over Real for 14 years on Saturday.Updated: Sep 30, 2013 03:22 IST
Gareth Bale’s long-awaited Real Madrid home debut ended in disappointment as Atletico Madrid beat Los Blancos 1-0 to register their first league victory over Real for 14 years on Saturday.
Bale started on the bench and had to watch on as Koke played in Diego Costa to slot Atletico into an 11th minute lead.The Welshman was then called upon by Carlo Ancelotti at half-time to turn things in Real’s favour, but he wasn’t able to impact the game greatly as Atletico maintained their 100 percent start to the campaign.
They have 21 points from seven games and are second on goal difference behind Barcelona who also have seven wins from seven after clinching a 2-0 win at Almeria.
However, Koke insists Atletico are not yet thinking about the title.
“We are very happy with the result today but also with the effort of the whole team,” he said.
“We are having a great year and we need to continue like this. The manager gave us a few instructions and we managed to score first then hold out pretty well.”
Time to reflect
Madrid captain Sergio Ramos admitted his side need to reflect after a first defeat of the season, which leaves them five points off the leaders.
After a cagey opening 10 minutes, the Madrid derby burst into life when Koke played Costa in behind the home defence and the Brazilian slotted home his eighth goal in seven league games.
Even the goal though couldn’t shake Real out of their early malaise and it took until the 20th minute for Thibaut Courtois to be forced into a save as he palmed Karim Benzema’s flicked header behind.
The French striker had a much clearer headed opportunity from another Angel di Maria pass six minutes later but this time failed to even find the target.
And it was Atletico who should have doubled their tally before half-time on more than one occasion.
Firstly, Tiago squandered a glorious chance as he headed over when completely unmarked from Koke’s header before Diego Lopez made a fine save to deny Gabi and then Costa just couldn’t bundle home the rebound as Real struggled to cope with another corner.
First Published: Sep 30, 2013 02:11 IST