After fulfilling the promise not to give Real Madrid a hall of honor prior to the match, Atlético de Madrid defeated the brand-new champion of the Spanish League on Sunday 1-0 and came closer to securing their participation in the next League of Champions.
Atlético sang victory in the capital derby thanks to the penalty executed by Yannick Carrasco after 40 minutes.
The meringues went to the Wanda Metropolitano, Atlético’s fiefdom, with an alternate team. Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti wants to dose strength after his team won its 35th crown in the local tournament last weekend and qualified for the final of the continental club tournament midway through the week.
The penalty that preceded the Belgian winger’s sixth goal in the course was signaled after referee César Soto Grado resorted to video replay to assess a foul by Jesús Vallejo on Matheus Cunha.
The victory in the Madrid derby gives the colchoneros a breath of fresh air by reaching 64 units and consolidating themselves in fourth position, the last one that gives access to the next edition of the Champions League, to lead Real Betis by six units (58 ), which lost on Saturday 2-1 against Barcelona (69), second in the table.
“We have had many occasions, we have not finished off the game and luckily we have endured with a clean sheet and luckily it was enough,” said mattress goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
Madrid, the leader with 81 points, had come back from coming back in the middle of the week to eliminate Manchester City in the Champions League semifinals. They did so with a 3-1 victory in the second leg at their Santiago Bernabéu stadium, for a 6-5 aggregate.
Many of Madrid’s regular starters were rested: Thibaut Courtois, Dani Carvajal, David Alaba, Ferland Mendy, Luka Modric, Federico Valverde, Vinícius Júnior and Karim Benzema.
“We came from a very intense week for us, with the League and the pass to the Champions League final, it was a complicated game and I think we have stood up at all times and on Thursday for another game”, said the merengue winger Lucas Vazquez.
Atlético, who refused to make room for the new champion, who relieves him as monarch in Spain as tradition goes, dominated from the start, but without the effectiveness against the framework defended by Andriy Lunin. The Ukrainian goalkeeper had only played a couple of Copa del Rey games this season.
The Whites had several options to match in the complement, when Vinícius, Valverde, Mendy and Modric came on, while the Rojiblancos fell back to defend.
Lunin stood out with a save from a free shot in front of Cunha’s goal, which prevented it from going into the net during the complement. Carrasco also drowned out another goal cry when he hit the post with his left foot down the stretch.