Real Madrid secured a late point at the Wanda Metropolitano this afternoon in La Liga, emerging from a crucial Madrid Derby with neighbours and league leaders Atletico Madrid unscathed with a 1-1 draw in the bag. Atletico are now five points clear of Madrid and three clear of Barcelona, with a game in hand on both.
Los Rojiblancos started the season on fire, but have faltered in recent times. Their traditionally adversarial mentality suits the underdog, the man on the shoulder as opposed to leading the pack. Mental strength will be essential should they intend on winning a second league title this century.
They certainly started well, taking the lead inside the opening 15 minutes. Marcos Llorente did superbly to cap an excellent passage of play by feeding Luis Suarez, who supplied a typically deadly finish to give his team an early advantage. Another lethal marksman was on hand to score the equaliser. Karim Benzema, just back from injury, came up with the goods in the 88th minute to earn a potentially crucial point for Los Blancos.
“The first half was theirs and the second half was ours,” Zinedine Zidane said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “In the end, the best and most important thing is to play the second half in the way we have done. Our goal is to continue. There’s a lot of football to be played and we’re going to fight until the end. Things can always change, and we know how we can improve.”