NEW DELHI: Behind a brilliant performance from Alvaro Morata, Atletico Madrid easily defeated city rivals Real Madrid 3-1 to demonstrate their dominance.
Morata’s goal in the fourth minute of the thrilling contest at a packed Metropolitano stadium gave the game a thrilling start. Reaching high, he connected with a pinpoint cross from Samuel Lino to produce a powerful header that gave Atletico Madrid the lead right away.
Not satisfied with their lead, Atletico kept up the pressure, and in the eighteenth minute, Antoine Griezmann added another headed goal to increase Atletico’s lead. With a precise cross from Saul Niguez, Griezmann found the net, and Real Madrid was now behind by two goals.
In the 35th minute, Toni Kroos scored a stunning goal from the edge of the box to give Real Madrid a lifeline and cut the deficit.
Atletico Madrid, though, didn’t give up. In the first minute of the second half, Morata completed his brace by heading in another well-placed cross from Saul. This goal greatly undermined Real Madrid and reaffirmed Atletico’s supremacy.
Atletico Madrid shot up to fifth place in the La Liga standings with a game remaining, having scored ten points. Real Madrid, who had led the table earlier, dropped to third position with 15 points, one point behind Girona and Barcelona.
Under Diego Simeone’s direction, Atletico Madrid dominated the game. They passed the ball among themselves confidently in the last moments of play, to the thunderous chant of “Ole, ole, ole” from their joyful supporters.
Along with Morata’s early goal, Atletico’s Jose Maria Gimenez wasted a great chance in the tenth minute as he failed to head the ball in close after Griezmann’s corner. Griezmann later scored the second goal with a well-timed header.
In the thirty-first minute, Eduardo Camavinga, a midfielder for Real Madrid, attempted to spark his team’s offense with a curving long-range shot that resulted in a corner. The next corner saw goalkeeper Jan Oblak block a strike from Federico Valverde, setting up a quick counterattack that almost saw Atletico score their third goal, but Real Madrid’s Kepa Arrizabalaga made an amazing one-handed save to keep it out.
Real Madrid was back in the game thanks to a goal from Kroos, but shortly before halftime, Camavinga’s effort was disallowed for offside during the build-up.
Real Madrid found it difficult to create additional scoring opportunities after Morata’s second goal early in the second half.
Many thanks to all of the ardent supporters in attendance, Morata—who was instrumental in Atletico’s victory—said, Very happy for all these people that came here today and delivered this amazing support. As I indicated earlier, supporters will be very important. It has always been like way. There’s been a fantastic vibe.”