La Liga continues to serve as one of the most exciting leagues in world football on a year-by-year basis but this time around, there’s a certain layer of inevitability surrounding teams both at the top and the bottom of the Spanish top flight. This past weekend we saw that in full effect in the Madrid derby which, for many years, has been one of the closest-fought battles across Europe.
Real Madrid were the favourites to get one over on their city rivals Atletico Madrid and that’s precisely what they did. The league leaders ran out 2-0 victors and based on the pattern of play, it was exactly what they deserved.
Real’s ruthless efficiency
They weren’t always on the front foot and they did have to face some adversity, but Real Madrid looked to be as calm as they have been in a long time. Even when they were under some sustained pressure they were the ones who were most threatening in front of goal and thanks to Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio, they came away with all three points. If they keep up this kind of pace on teams between now and the end of the campaign, we don’t think they’re going to be losing many games of football – as long as they don’t pick up too many injuries.
Atletico look scared
The strange part about this game was that Atletico did have a handful of opportunities, forcing Thibaut Courtois into a variety of saves throughout the course of the 90 minutes – showcasing how rules fly out of the window on derby day. Alas, they weren’t able to convert any of them, and we genuinely think one of the reasons why is because there’s a level of fear that that crept into their game. It’s incredibly unlike them and may not be permanent, but this temporary lapse is going to cost them in a big way.
Real Madrid now sit eight points clear at the top of the La Liga table and they’ve won an insane amount of games consecutively. The decision by Carlo Ancelotti to leave Everton and head to Madrid was criticised but up to this point, it appears to be paying off quite nicely. They’re also doing well in the Champions League and when you take one look at the confidence they’re playing with, we don’t think it’s unfair to think this is a squad that has the potential to win the treble.
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