The International Champions Cup has served up the best games in recent times. The results so far has increased the anticipation of fans towards the upcoming season. And while a number of games have been played, only a few will be remembered like the Madrid derby that the tournament featured.
It will take a while to find another Madrid derby that will produce 10 goals.
10 goals were scored as Atletico Madrid defeated Real Madrid 3-7. With a now-growing injury list and without a win (unimportant) in the competition so far, there’s plenty for Zinedine Zidane to worry about.
🏆 Real Madrid 3-7 Atletico Madrid
⚽️ Diego Costa scores 4 goals
🔴 Costa and Carvajal both then get a straight red card for an altercation
👀 Gareth Bale is seen laughing on the sidelines, supposedly at Zidane
Another quiet Madrid derby & it was only a pre-season game 😂 pic.twitter.com/YVNCGlS13P
— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) July 27, 2019
Same for Diego Someone too.
Now that the game’s long gone, here are 7 things we now know better:
1. A Compact Atleti Defense
Of course, a pre-season friendly is very different from a league game or Champions League match. However, this Madrid derby gave us a glimpse of what’s to come, especially from Atletico.
Despite losing some veterans in its defense line, Atletico Madrid still looked as solid as ever!
1/3 #RMAATL : Conclusions from the first 45 mins
1. This was in no way a pre-season friendly. Not with the starting line-ups that both managers went for.
— Rotimi Daramola (@Papi_theGreat) July 27, 2019
2. Zidane’s Midfield Experiment
The French gaffer started the game without a recognised defensive midfielder. So many arguments have come towards this. Some say he’s trying to make Toni Kross get used to the role so he can accommodate a new player coming.
There are other theories too. Zizzou never expected a Madrid derby so fierce. At least, that’s what his demeanor looked like on the sidelines. No one saw it coming. Joao Felix and co. exposed that midfield lapse badly!
Speaking of Joao Felix…
3. Felix: A Griez Update
It’s not everyday that you see a teenager strutting around in the Madrid derby these days. The derby is usually fiesty and loaded with fights, bad blood and hard tackles. It’s so no place for a teenager without heart.
Step in, Joao. The teenage sensation who it seemed Atletico Madrid took a gamble on didn’t have any issues fitting in. May be just one game so far. However, what do you say about a youngster who was able to score a goal and create two assists within 66 minutes of play?
Griezmann was a huge loss, no doubt. Nevertheless, Atletico Madrid’s business model has won, yet again! They just know how to replace players who leave. With Joao Felix, the fans won’t even remember that Griezmann is gone.
4. Marcelo and Hazard Livewire
The connection between the Brazilian and the Belgian in the Madrid derby brought back memories. Marcelo’s runs coupled with the one-two play with Hazard was sometimes too difficult for Kieran Trippier to handle alone.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 27, 2019
Both players combined so well when the team attacked down their flank. It was one of the positives for Zidane from the game. It brought back memories of the Marcelo-Ronaldo combination that was so deadly.
5. Unfriendly Derby
It’s usually an irony when a derby like the Madrid derby becomes a fixture during pre-season. Fans usually don’t know what to expect. Will it be a ‘friendly derby‘ or a ‘derby derby‘?
The reverse was the case, with Diego Costa and Daniel Carvajal causing a royal rumble and getting sent off. With the line-ups that both gaffers started the game with, it was obvious that something was at stake. Did you see the way Costa celebrated his second and fourth goals?
It was all shades of fiesty and contentious. In summary, there was nothing friendly about this Madrid derby. However, the fans loved it. It seemed as though they would have been disappointed if they had to endure a game with less intensity.
They got their money’s worth.
The problem now is: Unfriendly games have increased the injuries that they were supposed to help players avoid. Some have already been ruled out of a season that has not even started yet!
The Madrid derby has now become the most anticipated game of the 19/20 La Liga season no thanks to this result. Diego Simeone is definitely up to something. With a side that can score goals effortlessly and frustrate opposing players, the La Liga title race might just be a three-horse race.
Zinedine Zidane has to do what Pep Guardiola has done. Find a back up plan for his defensive midfielder, Casemiro. And he needs to do it fast!
Did you see the game? What other things did you notice? Please drop your comments and share your thoughts with me.
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.