Honours were even in a Madrid derby that lacked sparkle. The game was at its best with the scoreline tied at 1-1 and then both coaches proceeded to substitute their key forwards with first Zidane taking off Cristiano with Diego Costa soon to follow. These steps are understandable with European return legs coming up during the week, despite both sides having a dominant position in their respective ties as both Madrid giants look for semi-final berths. It was always going to be the case that the European action overshadowed the game but to be frank it took away an real edge that a derby in the capital should and needs to have.
Evening for the keepers
I felt that Atlético started the game sitting too deep and failed to create anything in the middle of the park that was being well marshalled by Madrid as Simeone's men were forced to look to width to create any semblance of danger. Madrid had the initiative and won countless corners with the defensive position adopted by the "Colchoneros" with Zidane's side having adecent penalty shout turned down, hitting the woodwork and forcing a series of fine saves from Jan Oblak. Atlético too carved out a few chances of their own but their efforts were thwarted by Keylor Navas in what was a good evening for both goalkeepers
Davis Cup emotion
The game was finely poised until Cristiano opened the scoring after some fine work from a much improved Gareth Bale. The goal was a wake-up call for Simeone as his Atlético suddenly decided to adopt a more offensive approach and created a series of chances in the space of just five minutes. Griezmann's goal seemed to be the detonator in shaking the game up but the aforementioned changes took away some of the added spark that seemed to be brewing. There still were chances for both sides with Ramos coming as Oblak majestically tipped over a free-kick as the clock ticked down. The early kick.off did afford us time to watch the end of the Davis Cup tie and a dose of proper high-octane emotion...