Gareth Bale’s 74th minute goal against Atletico Madrid was the end product of a master-class move. The assist by his Real Madrid teammate, Luka Modric, was just as beautiful as the Welshman’s shot which found the bottom corner of Jan Oblak’s goal.
Any team playing against Atletico Madrid has to be ready for their physicality. Diego Simeone’s side is unforgiving, especially when playing against them at the Wanda Metropoliatano.
As such, the second Madrid derby of the 18/19 La Liga season was expected to be full of fireworks. It was second versus third, clearly a winner-takes-it-all situation in the Barcelona chase. At the end of the ninety minutes played, the fans had gotten more than what they bargained for before kick-off.
The game saw 10 yellow cards, a red card and Real Madrid scoring three of the four goals scored. It seemed everyone else had abandoned the Liverpool – Bournemouth game for the Madrid derby. Social media was agog with the kind of tackles and plays being made in the game.
It was a feisty one to say the least.
For Simeone, it was his team’s second loss in a row. It was the second time they had conceded three in a home game and was also Atleti’s first loss at home in over six months! It must have taken something really special to defeat such a formidable team, right?
It’s not every day you see Atletico Madrid concede three in a game, especially in one where six of their players were given yellow cards. It must have been frustrating to see Real Madrid do all the scoring while they did all the defending.
Terrible for Atleti fans to watch but a delight for Real Madrid fans to behold.
It's Madrid derby day 😍 pic.twitter.com/y2fdCm1b0m
— Bilal Ahmed And 49 Others (@saytobilal5) February 9, 2019
Bale’s goal 16 minutes from time had the visiting Madrid fans on their feet, jubilating.
Resurgent Real Madrid?
Before this game, Santiago Solari’s men had only lost two games this year. In the immediate run-up to this game, Real Madrid had gone to Camp Nou and gotten a rare draw from the game. If asked before the game at Wanda, Madrid fans would have happily settled for a draw, seeing how shabbily they started the season.
After their triumph over Atleti, Real Madrid fans can now talk about a streak. Los Blancos have not lost in their last seven games in all competitions. During that time, they’ve scored an average of almost three goals per game (20 in seven games). It’s no wonder they’re now six points behind Barcelona (that Athletic Bilbao draw helped a lot!)
There are still 15 more games to be played in the league. But Madrid fans now have plenty of reasons to look to the future with a lot of hope.
In the game against Atleti, 22-year old Reguilon Sergio was preferred over Marcelo. And the Spanish youngster did not disappoint, putting up an impressive display both defensively and going forward. By the time Junior Vinicius was subbed off in the 56th minute, he had done enough to be brought down in the 18-yard area, causing Real Madrid to be awarded a penalty which Sergio Ramos scored.
These two youngsters are beginning to integrate themselves well into the Real Madrid set-up. They did not allow themselves to be run over by the fierce Atleti players. They stood their ground and played maturely. For sure, the future is bright (that’s if Florentino Perez DOES NOT go on another spending spree, buying every available superstar are forcing these youngsters out).
With UEFA Champions League football looming and at least two El Clasico clashes just around the corner, Real Madrid has turned (is turning?) the corner as they push to avoid a trophy-less season. With this kind of form, it’s impossible to not get excited about the prospects for the future.
However, the question remains: Is it time for Real Madrid fans to be hopeful for a title win before the season ends?
Drop your comments and join in the conversation.
Author: Rotimi “Papi the Great” Daramola
Rotimi Daramola aka Papi the Great is the owner of ForTheGoal.
A freelance sports writer who focuses on football, Rotimi is also a freelance writer, a copywriter and a football analyst who regularly appears on radio and television to talk football. You can follow him on twitter @papi_thegreat to keep up with his writings, engage him and also find out about how you can secure his writing services.