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Atletico Madrid 1-2 Real Madrid: Match Review

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

With eight wins in as many games, Real Madrid headed into Matchday 6 with their biggest game yet on the horizon. Los Blancos were set to take on Atletico Madrid in their first derby of the season and, needless to say, all eyes were on the Civitas Metropolitano on Sunday night.

Carlo Ancelotti had Eder Militao back on the night and placed the Brazilian alongside David Alaba at the heart of the defence. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos were joined by Aurelien Tchouameni in midfield while Federico Valverde, Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo rounded off the attack.

For Atletico Madrid, the biggest news was that Antoine Griezmann was finally given a first start of the season amidst the uncertainty around his contractual clause.

Los Rojiblancos dominated the opening play and were the first team to go on the offensive on the night. Felipe and Geoffrey Kondogbia had early chances in the game but didn’t utilise their opportunities.

Real Madrid scored against the run of play in the 18th minute after some wonderful combination play between Tchouameni and Rodrygo. The Brazilian began the move with a pass to the midfielder who instantly lobbed it over the defence and returned the pass. With just Oblak to beat, Rodrygo did not make any mistake in front of the goal.

Exactly 18 minutes after the opener, Los Blancos extended their lead to two on the night. This time it was Vinicius who tormented the hosts’ defence with a mazy run before firing a shot at Oblak. The shot-stopper made the save but the rebound fell kindly for Federico Valverde who tucked it away.

The intensity of the game fell in the second half with neither team looking inspired in the attack. While the visitors were happy to hold onto their two-goal lead, one could not fathom why Diego Simeone’s side did not come out of the dressing room with more purpose and intent.

With seven minutes of regulation time to go, Simeone’s side pulled one back through a set-piece. Thibaut Courtois completely missed a corner and substitute Mario Hermoso diverted it home via his shoulder. Suddenly, the game was alive again.

The 90th minute saw the goalscorer sent off for a trivial foul leading to his second yellow card. However, there were questions asked as to whether the defender’s offence was red card worthy.

The game ended in a 2-1 win for Real Madrid despite the hosts’ best efforts to equalise in the dying minutes. With this win, Ancelotti’s champions reclaim the top spot from Barcelona and head into the international break as the La Liga leaders, with their winning streak undisturbed.

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Three talking points ahead of Real Madrid vs Osasuna

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Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

After a two-week hiatus from club football, Real Madrid return to action on Sunday night in a home game against Osasuna. The league leaders have been unstoppable so far this season, and the objective at the Bernabeu will be to keep their fine form going.

Jagoba Arrasate’s side have enjoyed a positive start to the season with four wins in six games so far. The Pamplona-based side sit sixth in the league standings ahead of the likes of Villarreal and Atletico Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti will make several changes in his starting lineup on the night – some forced and some out of choice. Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Los Blancos’ weekend clash.

1. Time to kick in the nitros

Real Madrid have been flawless this season and are the only club in the European top-flight to have not dropped a single point. While their start to the season has been nothing short of a fairytale, one wonders how long they can keep the magical streak going.

The month of October brings with it one of the most hectic schedules the club has seen in recent years. Over the next 30 days, Los Blancos play nine games across all competitions. In short, the equation boils down to a game every three days.

To come out on top in all nine games will require a superhuman effort from the Real Madrid players, but one knows well that the squad is capable of it. The team are in a strong headspace, and injecting the right amount of fuel at this point could propel their throttle and see them weather the storm.

A job well begun is half done, and Carlo Ancelotti will hope that his men can make a strong start to the month on Sunday night.

2. Coping without Modric

Godric. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

The FIFA International break has been cruel to clubs across the globe, with several key players returning injured and facing several weeks on the sidelines. The story for Real Madrid is no different.

Luka Modric played every minute of Croatia’s two friendlies in the last two weeks and even scored a goal in their 3-1 win over Austria. However, he suffered an injury to his hip and faces 8-10 days on the sidelines.

The veteran, at 37 years of age, has arguably been Real Madrid’s best player this season. In eight games, he has scored two goals and provided one assist for Los Blancos and continues to show the world why he is one of the best the game has seen.

Modric is expected to return for the Clasico in two weeks. However, one cannot help but wonder how Ancelotti compensates for such a big void.

It has been reported that the manager sees Dani Ceballos as the ideal man for the job. The 26-year-old impressed when given the start against Mallorca earlier this season, making four key passes and bagging one assist. Now, he could have his moment and a chance to prove his worth to the manager.

In Modric’s absence, Ceballos could start alongside Aurelien Tchouameni and Toni Kroos in the middle of the park. With Eduardo Camavinga quickly climbing up the pecking order, the 26-year-old must make the most of his chance on Sunday to secure a place in the coming games.

3. The return of the gladiator

After a slow start to the season, Karim Benzema bounced back with a brace against Espanyol on Matchday three. Just when it seemed like he had found his stride, however, he suffered a thigh injury and was ruled out for close to three weeks.

While the team found alternate sources of goals in his absence, it was clear that Los Blancos lacked a dominant presence in the box in recent weeks. With Benzema’s recovery close to complete, all eyes will be on him to see if he can find his feet again.

In his pre-match press conference, Ancelotti confirmed that the French international would start on Sunday though it is unlikely that he will play all 90 minutes. Nevertheless, this comes as a big relief to Real Madrid, given that they have no natural replacement for the centre-forward.

The captain will look to make a statement on his return on Sunday and will likely be deployed alongside Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo.

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