The game was referred to as the “Decaf Derby” in the Spanish press given the low stakes of the game and they had a point. Aside from a spell in the second half, there was very little intensity during the affair and it was all very sporting between these city rivals. A draw will suit both parties with the greater goal of European glory in the minds of both managers.
Real Madrid got out of the game with no injuries, it seems. The game meant little and Zinedine Zidane got the chance to play the likes of Gareth Bale and Mateo Kovacic from the start. Aside from that, Real Madrid’s league form is no indication of their Champions League form so it’s hard to tell what this game means for them.
Real Madrid continue to look fragile when questions are asked of them in defence. There were spells in the second half when it looked like they were about to crumble at the back. Second is no different from third in La Liga if Real Madrid win the Champions League. Finishing behind Atletico, however, will be a hard pill to swallow if they can’t win any silverware.
Manager rating out of 10
7 — Zidane squeezed Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo into the same attacking line. That has proven not to work in the past and they failed to click in this one too. He used his chance to rest Luka Modric, Isco and Casemiro along with taking Ronaldo off early and will be happy enough with a point given the patchwork of players he picked.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Keylor Navas, 8 — Forced into good saves from Saul Niguez in the second half followed by another from a Koke strike. Helpless for the goal and was solid throughout even if he wasn’t heavily involved.
DF Dani Carvajal, 9 –– Caused problems for Atletico Madrid down the right in the first half and was possibly more dangerous in the second. Delivery from the right-hand side always threatening and he could have had a couple of assist on another day.
DF Sergio Ramos, 6 — Lost Vitolo for Griezmann’s goal and was lucky not to be sent off in the first half when he threw Lucas Hernandez to the ground. Nearly scored a free kick late on and from a header shortly afterwards to redeem a mediocre performance.
DF Raphael Varane, 7 — Had one of Real Madrid’s best chances in the first half but was denied by Jan Oblak. Kept tabs on Diego Costa and was both ambitious and successful with his passing.
DF Marcelo, 7 — Rattled the crossbar in the first half with a nice strike. A typical, strong attacking performance from the left-back.
MF Mateo Kovacic, 7 — Did some good defensive work in the first half with two ball recoveries off an attacking Griezmann. Good on the ball and is an excellent option as a replacement for any of Zidane’s midfield three.
MF Lucas Vazquez, 8 — Arguably Real Madrid’s most dangerous attacker in the first half, Vazquez was creative and direct in equal measure. Grew frustrated as the game wore on and was booked for a dive late in the second half.
MF Toni Kroos, 8 — Luka Modric was missing and Kroos was tasked with supplying Real Madrid with control in the middle. He did just that and also created three chances in that first half and should have had a penalty when Juanfran clipped his ankle in the box.
MF Marco Asensio, 6 — Quiet performance again from Asensio who doesn’t seem to particularly like playing centrally. He was shunted inside with Vazquez and Gareth Bale on the wings and his game suffered as a result.
FW Cristiano Ronaldo, 7 — Had a chance in the first half that he nearly turned in for a goal off his thigh. Very quiet but still scored before being withdrawn with Juventus in mind.
FW Gareth Bale, 8 — Trying to convince Zidane to change his mind and give him chances in big games. Bale certainly didn’t hurt his chances and his ball onto Ronaldo’s foot for the goal in the second half was perfect. Became more influential and confident as the game progressed.
FW Karim Benzema, 6 — Made no impact whatsoever. He didn’t do anything wrong but didn’t do anything right. No news is good news for Benzema at this stage.
MF Luka Modric , NR — Not even on the field for 20 minutes but immediately settled into the flow and became influential and a danger to Atletico’s defence.
MF Isco, NR — Came on at the same time as Modric and between the pair, they gave Real Madrid a new dimension in the attacking third. Won the free that almost won it for them at the end.
Robbie is based in Madrid and is one of ESPN FC’s Real Madrid bloggers. Twitter: @robbiejdunne