In a much anticipated battle of two giants of La Liga football, Atlético Madrid welcomed Real Madrid to the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday night with plenty to play for as the visitors looked to extend their lead at the top of the La Liga table. The hosts, on the other hand, were fighting to keep their title hopes alive.
It was a game of few chances, as will be explained in this analysis, with Karim Benzema going closest as he forced Jan Oblak into a magnificent save in the second half.
This tactical analysis will consider what Zinedine Zidane and Diego Simeone can take from the tie after an intense tactical battle in which neither of the two world class coaches came out on top.
Simeone stuck with his tactics, though he switched João Félix with Vitolo in order to give the Portugal international more freedom to roam, often interswitching with Vitolo. In defence, Stefan Savić got the nod alongside José María Giménez.
Zidane returned to the strongest possible side, with Nacho remaining at left-back to fill in for the injured Ferland Meny and Marcelo. The key selection decision was to opt for Fede Valverde over James Rodríguez in midfield, whilst he also returned to the front line of Benzema, Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard despite their disappointing first outing against Paris Saint-Germain.
If you love tactical analysis, then you’ll love the digital magazines from totalfootballanalysis.com – a guaranteed 100+ pages of pure tactical analysis covering topics from the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and many, many more. Buy your copy of the September issue for just ₤4.99 here