Madrid derby ends in a last minute draw

Crystian Mendoza, Sports Editor

Real Madrid hosted Atletico Madrid April 8 at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain as the much anticipated and possibly season defining Madrid derby was the highlight of the weekends La Liga clashes, with some 80,000 in attendance.

Real Madrid were the current La Liga leaders, with 71 points going into the game, but were only a slight two points ahead of runners up Barcelona, who had 69 points and looked to travel to face Malaga April 12 and were hoping Atletico Madrid could take away some points from Los Blancos.

Nonetheless, Real Madrid still had a game on hand that they needed to make up so they have a possibility of getting another three points that can essentially separate them by two games (6 points) if they win the rest of their matches.

Yet, they will be looking to face Barcelona for El Clasico April 23 in what is known as one of the most viewed sporting events worldwide, with some estimated 400 million viewers from across the globe in a game that is sure to get temperaments flaring as both sides always give it their all when facing each other.

The Madrid derby remained scoreless going into the half with only Casemiro of Real Madrid seeing a yellow card for a clumsy foul, other than that the game appeared to be evenly matched as both goalkeepers stood their ground.

Going into the second half, it only took Real Madrid seven minutes to open the scoring after Saul Niguez of Atletico Madrid gave away a free kick in a dangerous area allowing Toni Kroos to whip in a beautiful cross from the right wing towards the penalty area as Pepe leaped above the rest to get a solid header in to send the ball passed a defenseless Jan Oblak in the 52nd minute of the game.   

After the opening goal, the game calmed down drastically as Atletico Madrid sat back and chose to defend rather than focus on attacking. With little action between the goal and the closing minutes of the game, aside from a few substitutions from both sides.

When it seemed all but over for Atletico Madrid a quick counter attack caught Real Madrid’s defense off guard and Angel Correa snuck a through ball past Dani Carvajal and Nacho Fernandez leaving Antoine Griezmann one on one against Kaylor Navas and the Frenchman took his chance and managed to get the ball past the goalkeeper salvaging a point for Atletico Madrid as they tied 1-1.

With the Madrid derby ending in a tie, it was the best possible result for Barcelona as they now had a chance to equalize Real Madrid’s 72 points if they were to get the win on the road against Malaga.

Yet, Barcelona was unable to get the win against a 14th place Malaga who managed to open the scoring in the 32nd minute of the game with Sandro Ramirez, a former Barcelona player himself, scored a brace off of an assist from Juan Carlos.

The game went into halftime with the score at 1-0 with Barcelona struggling to make an impression on the evening. As the second half commenced, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique used two of his substitutions at once allowing Andrés Iniesta and Sergi Roberto to enter the field.

A hot headed Neymar say a second yellow card and was given the red, thus ejected from the game leaving a struggling Barcelona with only ten men. What seemed all but over was surely so as Jony managed to secure Malaga’s win with a last minute goal off of Pablo Fornals assist securing Real Madrid’s position as La Liga leaders.

 

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