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An Atlético Madrid worthy of their splendid new stadium


The Wanda Metropolitano seems designed for European nights. I wouldn’t say that domestic football, played during daylight hours, is too trifling for it, rather that it truly shines on occasions such as the match against Borussia Dortmund. A full house, high expectation, the best side in the Bundesliga as visitors, with a 4-0 drubbing still burning under the red and white skin. And the team lived up to the challenge, the night, and the excitement of their fans. A dominant Atlético, focused, brimming with fine details, and including an outstanding quarter of an hour (the last 15 minutes of the first half). A solid victory, but above all a match worthy of the setting, with nothing miserly or abject about it, despite so many injuries.

Barcelona deserved to beat Inter

At the same time, Barcelona were playing in the Giuseppe Meazza against Inter. Once again without Messi, who has been training over the past few days but didn’t risk, nor was there any reason to do so, a fall on a still healing radius. Barcelona were great to watch, their kit apart (there’s a curse on Barça’s away shirts, avoiding white, because of Real Madrid, and yellow, because of Molière*, and they’re forced to experiment). They deserved to win. They were on the point of doing so, with a fine goal from Malcom, which moved its author to an extreme emotional state, but Icardi, a former student of the highly recognised Masia, hunted down the leveller. A draw from an out and out number 9. Some want him at Madrid.

Solari taking decisions

Real Madrid face Viktoria Plzen today, Wednesday. For us, ‘Pilsen’, the place where they refined the ancient invention of beer and came up with the version we all drink today. Solari is out and about, in search of lost time. He’s just arrived, and is taking a cautious approach - today we’ll find out his answers to questions that are in reality inconsequential but which give rise to many a conversation: Courtois or Keylor? Isco or Asensio? And another less inconsequential: Vinicius or Bale? What we have here is an intern forced to take decisions that affect major stars as well as the whims and desires of the club’s president. That said, things are tougher for Marcelino against Young Boys. Mestalla won’t accept another set back.

* Yellow is traditionally considered unlucky in Spain because playwright Molière was wearing yellow when he collapsed on stage performing Le Malade Imaginaire in 1673. He later died at home.