As he left the pitch, where he had been pelted with toy rats, the goalkeeper made a three-fingered gesture to the home fans, to signal Real Madrid's 1-3 victory.
A lot can change in 12 months in football. The first time Thibaut Courtois visited the Wanda Metropolitano, in September 2017 with Chelsea, he was treated to a warm ovation, for his shared past with Atleti. On that occasion, the goalkeeper bid farewell by gifting his shirt to a fan in the stands. Yesterday, on his return, the reception could not have been more different.
Hours before the Real Madrid team bus arrived at the Metropolitano, Atlético fans had vented their feelings about the keeper joining the eternal rival by leaving a pile of toy rats on the player's commemorative plaque on the legends walkway of fame. More fluffy rats were smuggled into the stadium then hurled at Courtois' goal before kick-off. Rojiblancos' fans also chanted an ammended rendition of his song: 'Salta, salta pequeño canguro' ('Jump, jump little kangeroo') - changing the lyrics to a stream of insults.
What was the score again?
During the game, Courtois celebrated each of Real Madrid's goals in his usual, enthusiatic way. On leaving the pitch, Courtois had one last gesture for the home fans - a three-fingered salute captured by journalist Tani Martín en su Twitter. The Real Madrid keeper wanted to remind them of the score - for anyone that didn't know. Unsurprisingly, his gesture didn't go down well with rojiblanco fans on social media. "Atleti should seriously consider removing the plaques of certain players. You cannot show a lack of respect for the fans in that way. The criteria for a player being given their own plaque needs to be changed...", wrote @rub_blanco. And the Belgian wasn't the only one who angered Atleti supporters at the Wanda, Gareth Bale's hand gesture had the home crowd fuming, rubbing salt into the wounds of atléticos who saw their team lose their perfect home record to their archenemies.