It began with less than stellar goalkeeping, peaked with a highlight-reel feat of athleticism, and finished with a bang.
Atletico Madrid swallowed up La Liga leaders Real Madrid by a 4-0 scoreline in what is usually a hotly-contested affair, but today wasn’t even close. While Real Madrid held the majority of possession, they were knocked out by Diego Simeone’s usual heavy-hitting and high-pressing tactics that thwarted most Real creative efforts.
The peak of the match was the second goal, a stunning bicycle kick from 20-year-old Saul Niguez – a former member of the Real Madrid youth setup – that gave Atletico a 2-0 lead.
The move began with Guillherme Siqueira’s run with the ball to the by-line, and he chipped a ball over the defenders to Saul in front of the near post. The chip was a hair behind Saul’s move towards the net, so instead of coming back to the ball, he acrobatically contorted his body to fit the move and finish emphatically. The goal came in just the 17th minute, and Real Madrid could never recover from their early 2-goal deficit.
That was just one moment in a match full of them for Atletico. Tiago started things off when his dribbling shot squirted past Iker Casillas who was slow to react and clipped the ball off his hands into the net. Saul’s cracking goal came four minutes later, and suddenly Real was sitting on two-down to their cross-town rivals.
Antoine Griezmann and Mario Mandzukic finished things off in the second half to make things harsher still on Carlo Ancelotti’s group and complete the 4-0 scoreline. The win for Atletico brought them level with Barcelona on 50 points, while the pair of clubs are still four back of Real Madrid, while Barcelona owns a game in hand on the other two.
If you want to see the full match highlights, you can click over to beIN Sport here.