19.03.2011 » Atletico Madrid 1-2 Real Madrid. Benzema and Ozil scored the goals
Just three days after the match against Lyon in the UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid visited Atletico Madrid in the "Calderon", and brought home the 3 points, after defeating their city rivals by 1-2. Karim Benzema and Mesut Ozil scored the "Merengues" goals in a game where the MVP was clearly Iker Casillas. It was obvious that Cristiano Ronaldo played again with pains, still suffering from the injury suffered in the match against Malaga.
Once again, unnecessary offensive chants and insults towards Cristiano Ronaldo, were heard from the crowd, just proving how much love and hate CR7 generates. Chants as: "Cristiano muérete" (Cristiano die) or "Ese Portugués, Hijo Puta és" (That Portuguese, Is a S.O.B.) were very loud and the Portuguese player reacted by waving his arms (you can see the pictures in the "Cristiano Ronaldo game photos section"). I wonder how long will we have to wait until serious actions are made against this kind of unproportional and unadjusted situations.
Karim Benzema and Mesut Ozil gave Real Madrid their fourth derby victory of the season. Iker Casillas showed everyone why he is regarded as the best goalkeeper in the World, by preventing Atletico Madrid goal for more than half a dozen of times during the game. Even though Real Madrid only had three days to prepare for the derby and that Atletico Madrid had a whole week, the "Merengues" always looked to be the strongest team on the field. José Mourinho added Lass Diarra to the lineup, by replacing Angel Di Maria, and that switch proved to be very important to win the midfield battle. Real Madrid scored an early goal by Karim Benzema and Iker Casillas was forced to showcase all his powers in a spectacular performance. Once again, the story repeated and Atletico Madrid couldn't defeat Real Madrid, which is something that doesn't happen since 1999!
Real Madrid used a packed defensive midfield and the initial strategy was based on making fast counterattacks through Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Karim Benzema. The team had two chances on goal before scoring the opener on the 11th minute. Karim Benzema controlled the ball, entered the box and defeated De Gea with a class lobbed shot. Atletico Madrid reacted fiercely and forced Iker Casillas to spectacularly save shots by Kun Aguero, Reyes and Diego Forlan. Later on the first half, Mesut Ozil scored the team's second strike around the 33th minute, after a strange shot that confused De Gea and forced him to make a mistake.
Atletico Madrid tried to breach the gap after half-time. Diego Forlan put Iker Casillas to the test again in the 47th minute but the Real Madrid captain made another sensational save to prevent the goal. Real Madrid kept trying to score another in order to sentence the match and Cristiano Ronaldo came close on the 65th minute, but his header went over the crossbar, after being deflected on his own shoulder. Mesut Ozil kept leading Real Madrid counterattacks in pursuit of a goal. José Mourinho then decided to bring Adebayor on for Karim Benzema, and two minutes later, Angel Di Maria came on for Cristiano Ronaldo, who was already showing evidents signs of pain.
Real Madrid started to show exhaustion from their UEFA Champions League exploits in the final 15 minutes of the match. José Mourinho replaced Arbeloa for Lass Diarra, who had already seen the yellow card, and when everything seemed to be over, Sergio Aguero managed to defeat Iker Casillas, with a good strike, already inside the box, adding tension to the derby in the final minutes. Mario Suarez nearly scored in injury time, but his soft shot was grabbed by Iker Casillas just before the final blow of the whistle.
The Spanish League will now have a break because of the National Teams matches, and therefore, Real Madrid only returns to competition for La Liga in the 2nd of April, against Sporting Gijon, in the Santiago Bernabéu. Cristiano Ronaldo will join the Portuguese National Team, in order to play two friendly matches against Chile (26th of March) and Finland (29th of March). There are still concerns about CR7 injury's extent, so there's the possibility that the Portuguese National Team coach, Paulo Bento, won't play with Cristiano Ronaldo for the full lenght of the matches.