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REAL MADRID-ATLÉTICO

Simeone has turned Atlético into proper rivals in Madrid derby

Before the arrival of Diego Simeone, Atlético Madrid had not won in over a decade and now they are neck and neck with Real Madrid in the derby.

Update:
Simeone en el Santiago Bernabéu.
SERGIO PEREZREUTERS

The Madrid derby was hardly a derby at all before the arrival of Diego Simeone in January 2012. Since the historic return to the Primera in 2002, Atlético did not win one of their 21 games against their city rivals. They managed just five draws in that times and 16 losses. With Cholo in charge, Atlético have won eight, drawn eight and lost nine games.

The derby has been finely poised since Simeone took over but Europe remains his Everest with Real Madrid beating the rojiblancos in two finals, a semi-final last season and a quarter-final in 2014-15. In the Champions League, Atlético Madrid have only won once with Simeone in charge when they beat Real Madrid 2-1 at the Vicente Calderon last season despite losing the tie.

Ronaldo superó a Simeone antes de batir al Mono Burgos.
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Ronaldo superó a Simeone antes de batir al Mono Burgos.ANDREA COMASREUTERS

In La Liga, Atlético have played 12 games, winning four, drawing four and losing four. Since the 2013-14 season when Simeone led his side to a league title, Atlético have won four, drawn four and lost just once. Atlético are better away from home against los Blancos too with three wins, a draw and a loss. Under Ancelotti and Zidane, Real Madrid have not won at home in the league against Atlético in four attempt with three loses and a draw either. The Copa del Rey final in 2013 also saw a fiery affair with two red cards and 14 yellows and two red cards but Atlético came out on top.

Simeone tras la final de Champions de Lisboa.
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Simeone tras la final de Champions de Lisboa.

Simeone has tranformed Atlético into contenders and a win at the weekend would surely see them finish the season ahead of Real Madrid in the league, for the first time since their title-winning season and the first time anyone has infiltrated the top two since then too.

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Simeone, manteado tras el título de Copa contra el Real Madrid.
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Simeone, manteado tras el título de Copa contra el Real Madrid.JAVIER SORIANOAFP
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