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Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid – huge drama as Marcos Lorente Denies real with stoppage-time equaliser

Football players of Atletico Madrid

The drama came in abundance late on as a stoppage-time equaliser from Marcos Llorente snatched a point for Atletico Madrid in their derby with Real Madrid in La Liga on Sunday evening. Brahim Diaz gave the hosts the lead in the first half and they looked to have done enough to protect their slender advantage, only for Llorente to pounce in added time to rescue a point for the visitors.

Marcos Llorente was the last-gasp hero for Atletico Madrid, who snatched a 1-1 draw with city rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Brahim Diaz’s composed chip on 20 minutes should have proved the match winner, after the Spaniard had been drafted in at the last second to replace Real’s talismanic forward Vinicius Junior, who injured his neck in the warm-up, but wing-back Llorente equalised with a powerful header three minutes into stoppage time to salvage an unlikely point for the visitors.
The hosts started by far the more positive, with Diego Simeone’s Atleti characteristically shrinking back into two banks of five out of possession, looking to soak up the early pressure to hit their opponents on the break.
Instead, Atleti’s cautious mentality hemmed the visitors in their own half, and it was Diaz, Jude Bellingham and Ferland Mendy who all went close with early efforts.
Atletico broke into home territory for the first time in the ninth minute as Antoine Griezmann tested Andriy Lunin with an effort from a tight angle, but it was Diaz who opened the scoring, and deservedly so for the league leaders 11 minutes later.
Diaz was persistence and calmness personified as his initial pass ricocheted into the path of Lucas Vazquez, whose cut-back towards Bellingham bounced kindly off Koke into Diaz, who had continued his bundle into the box.
The Spaniard collected, showing great feet and quality to loft the ball elegantly over Oblak and put the home side a goal to the good.
Axel Witsel and Stefan Savic both went close with headed efforts in the 24th and 25th minutes as the visitors continued to threaten most from set plays, and it was another dead ball from which Atleti thought they had their equaliser after the break.
It was Savic again at the near post, powering home a Griezmann inswinger three minutes into the second half, but he saw his strike chalked off after Saul Niguez was adjudged to have interfered with play in an offside position on the toes of Andriy Lunin.
Rodrygo and Diaz continued to threaten the away goal as the Brazilian forced a strong save from Oblak before the latter nutmegged Mario Hermoso on his way into the box, before curling an effort just wide of the far corner.
Griezmann went close to an equaliser 12 minutes from time as his intricate back flick from an Angel Correa cut-back was well saved by Lunin, as Real sought to hold on for what would have been an important victory, but it was Llorente at the last who popped up with the dramatic equaliser, nodding home after substitute Memphis Depay had flicked on a Stefan Savic cross from deep.
Real remain at the summit, but only by two points, with Atleti consolidating their place in fourth.
TALKING POINT – DON’T TAKE YOUR CHANCES, GET PUNISHED
Real had their opportunities to wrap this one up, and really, they should have taken them.
Particularly in the first half, when Atletico were so passive in their approach, Carlo Ancelotti’s hosts should have stepped onto the gas and made their opponents pay, but their profligacy demonstrated once more their real need for a proper number nine.
Los Blancos have still not properly replaced the departed Karim Benzema, who left the Spanish capital for Saudi Arabia last summer, and their pile of missed chances showed that without a top goalscorer, they can be vulnerable.
Did Atletico deserve a point here? Perhaps not, but ultimately, it is down to Real not taking their chances that the spoils are shared.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – BRAHIM DIAZ, REAL MADRID
A fabulous display from someone who wasn’t even supposed to be starting, but the Spaniard’s dynamism and creativity in the front two alongside the pace of Rodrygo gave the home side a different edge to what they might have had with Vinicius Junior up top.
His goal was the perfect reward for a stellar showing, and his withdrawal on 70 minutes was eyebrow-raising, with Joselu, his replacement, not adding much but height to Real’s game.
PLAYER RATINGS
Real: Lunin 7, Vazquez 6, Carvajal 6, Nacho 6, Mendy 6, Valverde 7, Kroos 6, Camavinga 6, Bellingham 6, Rodrygo 6, Diaz 8. Subs: Joselu 5, Modric 6, Ceballos 6.
Atletico: Oblak 6, Witsel 6, Savic 6, Hermoso 5, Llorente 7, Koke 5, De Paul 6, Niguez 6, Riquelme 6, Griezmann 6, Morata 6. Subs: Molina 6, Lino 6, Depay 6, Barrios 6, Correa 6.