The Los Rojiblancos kick-off their league campaign with an opening fixture against Valencia.
Real Madrid fell short in their first official outing without Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo, after getting beaten by city-rivals Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup. Diego Costa bagged a brace, while the man set to fill the boots of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale went missing after providing the assist for Karim Benzema’s equaliser.
Khel Now takes a look at the talking points from the first Madrid derby of the season:
5. Julen Lopetegui’s side maintained a high defensive line
After an initial lapse IN concentration, the Real Madrid backline did very well to deny Atletico Madrid any further chance of doing more damage to them until Diego Costa scored the second equaliser of the game.
The backline was placed very high and had big gaps to be filled because of Marcelo playing as a winger for a major part of the game.
4. It was a slow start by the Bernabeu outfit
Real Madrid have continued the habit of starting games slowly as Los Blancos were made to pay for defensive lapses inside the first minute itself.
The men in white have been prone to starting games with poor intensity and less concentration in La Liga and European matches because of which they have been forced to chase games from the word go. It looks like Julen Lopetegui has not done his homework on this aspect of their play yet.
3. World Cup stars haven’t reached full fitness yet
While players with no or smaller World Cup outings were given starts by both the sides, the ones who did get a chance were far from convincing. Raphael Varane lost out in the first minute itself, while Atletico’s Antoine Griezmann never looked in the game. Luka Modric, who came on for Real was unconvincing as well.
It was pretty clear that the summer tournament had taken a toll on these players.
2. Diego Costa becomes the saviour
This is not the first time that Diego Costa was playing a final for Atletico Madrid against Real Madrid. The last time he played, the two teams were competing in the UEFA Champions League showpiece, in which the Spanish international was forced out of play inside the first ten minutes.
Costa made sure that this time he gets his team across the line by scoring in the first minute itself and then equalising for Los Rojiblancos around the 80th-minute mark.
1. Atletico Madrid to dominate Madrid derbies in La Liga this season?
One big issue with most of Real Madrid’s previous coaches has been of getting the bragging rights in the Madrid derbies in La Liga. While the men in white have been the better side in Europe, Atletico hold an edge over their capital city rivals in La Liga games.
This game has done nothing, but to put more pressure on Lopetegui by adding “beat Atletico Madrid” in his to-do list. The former Spain coach will have to make sure he gets results at home and in away fixtures against the arch-rivals after whas happened in the Super Cup clash.