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The bad eggs at Madrid have nowhere to hide

The data provided by LaLiga Stats has exposed Madrid’s laziest and most self-centered players. Numbers don’t always provide a completely true reflection of what’s going on, but the images captured by the television cameras coupled with the pro zone statistics paint a depressing picture. The lethargy during the derby had a devastating effect. Atleti covered 11 kilometres more ground than Madrid. Los Blancos supposedly spent the whole week of the buildup training at the luxury spa that is Valdebebas. Their neighbours in the south of the city touched down in the capital in the early hours of Thursday morning, following their midweek game against PSV. Los Rojiblancos were only able to squeeze in one proper session before Saturday’s match.

I bumped into Saúl yesterday at the presentation of the COTIF L’Alcúdia tournament. I told the youngster (who ran like a man possessed at the Bernabéu) how astonished I was that his side were able to win all the 50/50 balls. He admitted that he was tired, “but at Atleti all ten outfielders have to put in a defensive shift; we are a team so if one player stops working it doesn’t go down well with the rest of the group…”. It’s a simple statement, but the results are undeniable. Atlético try to play good football, sure. They also run their socks off. They don’t lack attitude or intensity. Zidane should show James a video of his refusal to track back for Griezmann’s goal so he can understand the damage he caused the rest of his team…