Atletico Madrid played out an entertaining — if frustrating — 0-0 Derbi Madrileno draw with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Saturday night.
It was a topsy-turvy game that saw Atleti create a number of first-half chances only to be denied by former keeper Thibaut Courtois at the important moment.
It was Jan Oblak’s turn after the break, with Real dominating the second period, however Los Rojiblancos held firm and kept out everything that the European champions could throw at them and took a point that suits them a lot more than it does Julen Lopetegui’s men.
Six La Liga games in a row without defeat at the Bernabeu. Who would have thought that when Los Colchoneros went 14 years without a win — home or away — against their neighbours between 1999 and 2013.
Neither Antoine Griezmann nor Diego Costa could take very presentable chances and the latter’s lack of goals is starting to become a concern.
Manager rating out of 10
7 — A tough one to grade Diego Simeone on. The starting XI were the better team in the first half, however he looked flummoxed by Lopetegui’s half-time substitutions and it took him a long time to remedy it. Still, after claiming a point and new La Liga record it is hard to be too critical.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Jan Oblak, 9 — Made a couple of smart stops in the first half, however he almost had a Loris Karius moment when he passed the ball straight to the onrushing Marco Asensio but got away with it. Then produced a stunning one-on-one save to deny the Spaniard after the break, amongst other top-drawer saves.
DF Juanfran, 7 — Booked for a hack on Dani Ceballos as Atleti struggled with his introduction but was otherwise solid at the back and a menace going forwards.
DF Jose Gimenez, 9 — Won his battle to be fit and it was a good job he did as he was arguably man of the match. Showed incredible pace to stop a Marco Asensio-led counter-attack.
DF Diego Godin, 7 — Made a huge gaffe that Gimenez bailed him out from. Aside from that he had the better of Karim Benzema and cC.
DF Filipe Luis, 7 — Much like Juanfran he was secure with his defensive work and got forward with gusto. Sent a shot just wide from distance late on.
MF Koke, 6 — Thought he had won a penalty when his cross hit Casemiro’s hand but the referee was not having it. Always combative and fought for every second ball.
MF Saul Niguez, 8 — Had a couple of efforts from distance that stung the palms of Courtois early on. Grew as the game went on both on and off the ball.
MF Rodrigo, 9 — Very, very impressive. The best midfielder on the pitch, which was no mean feat given he was up against ‘The Best’ winner Luka Modric. Always asked for the ball and kept a cool head when those around him lost theirs a bit. Oddly subbed with five to go.
MF Thomas Lemar 6 — Was lively in the first period when Atleti were on top and looked a threat every time he got on the ball. One of many who suffered after the break and was hooked on the hour.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 6 — Spoke a lot in the build-up but could not let his football do the talking as he spurned a one-one-one he should have buried.
FW Diego Costa, 6 — Denied one-on-one by Courtois in the first half. His goal drought in La Liga now dates back to February and is starting to become worrying. Fought for everything but it was not his day. Looked absolutely shattered when subbed with just over 20 to go.
MF Angel Correa (for Lemar), 6 — Got slapped by Sergio Ramos within seconds of coming on. Always lively and his directness was a welcome introduction.
MF Thomas Partey (for Costa), 7 — Helped Atletico wrestle back some much-needed control in midfield in the final 25.
FW Nikola Kalinic (for Rodrigo), NR — Brought on to run the clock down.