Real Madrid’s hopes of winning LaLiga were dented despite Alvaro Rodriguez rescuing a 1-1 derby draw against Atletico Madrid on Saturday.
Teenage forward Alvaro Rodriguez came off the bench to rescue Real Madrid in a dramatic 1-1 derby draw with 10-man Atletico Madrid, heading a late equaliser to cancel out Jose Gimenez’s goal.
Despite half-time substitute Angel Correa controversially seeing red for a challenge on Antonio Rudiger, Atleti looked set for a famous victory at the Santiago Bernabeu when Gimenez headed them ahead in the 12th minute.
However, 18-year-old Rodriguez nodded home Luka Modric’s corner behind Jan Oblak with five minutes remaining to score his first senior goal for Los Blancos in dramatic fashion.
While Madrid are relieved to have avoided a surprise defeat, they now sit seven points clear of LaLiga leaders Barcelona, who could extend that gap to 10 points when they visit Almeria on Sunday.
Real Madrid player ratings (4-3-3)
GK: Thibaut Courtois – 4/10 – Unconvincing with the ball at his feet, though not to quite the same extent as his Anfield error.
RB: Dani Carvajal – 5/10 – Prepared to scamper forward, countering the threat of Atletico’s wide men by pinning them back.
CB: Eder Militao – 6/10 – Always defending on the balls of his feet, perennially posed to steal the ball ahead of his opposite forward.
CB: Antonio Rudiger – 5/10 – Surprised to be beaten in a race by Marcos Llorente but not overly exposed elsewhere.
LB: Nacho Fernandez – 5/10 – Elicited a swell of applause borne out of surprise as much as appreciation for the nifty footwork the make-shift full-back performed. The mis-hit cross he immediately followed it up with was more in character.
CM: Fede Valverde – 6/10 – Fully of industry and energy but not a great deal of end product.
CM: Toni Kroos – 6/10 – Sweeping up as the deepest midfielder, almost every sustained sequence of Madrid passing began with Kroos.
CM: Dani Ceballos – 6/10 – Sneaking between the lines, sniffing out little pockets of space Atletico allowed to open up.
RW: Marco Asensio – 4/10 – Stung Jan Oblak’s gloves with an early long range effort which encouraged him to shoot on site thereafter.
ST: Karim Benzema – 5/10 – Floating around the peripheries of the contest.
LW: Vinicius Junior – 4/10 – Buzzing up and down the left flank without quite finding a way through the blockade.
Eduardo Camavinga (63′ for Kroos) – 6/10
Aurelien Tchouameni (63′ for Asensio) – 6/10
Luka Modric (64′ for Ceballos) – 6/10
Alvaro Rodriguez (77′ for Nacho) – 6/10
Lucas Vazquez (83′ for Carvajal) – N/A
Carlo Ancelotti – 5/10 – Failed to rally his side in the wake of their Anfield euphoria. Tried to spark a change with a triple substitution which never really materialised but the late arrival of Alvaro proved decisive.
Atletico Madrid player ratings (4-4-2)
GK: Jan Oblak – 5/10 – Dealt with what little was thrown his way.
RB: Nahuel Molina – 6/10 – Offered Atletico width down the right flank on both sides of the ball.
CB: Stefan Savic – 6/10 – Reliably solid in a familiarly reserved rearguard.
CB: Mario Hermoso – 5/10 – Ushered into the complex hybrid role on the left of Atletico’s backline after Reinildo’s early departure.
LB: Reinildo – N/A – Forced off on a stretcher midway through the first half after an awkward (and unintentional) tangle with Valverde.
RM: Pablo Barrios – 6/10 – A youthful, wriggling nuisance before harshly being subbed off during the half-time interval.
CM: Koke – 5/10 – Struggled to exert an influence on proceedings.
CM: Saul Niguez – 3/10 – Yannick Carrasco’s cover rarely got involved on the ball.
LM: Yannick Carrasco – 5/10 – At times dropping alongside Reinildo as a wing-back but also tasked with supporting Griezmann through the middle.
ST: Marcos Llorente – 5/10 – Roaming around at full throttle throughout, Llorente was Atletico’s closest foil to Griezmann before Correa’s half-time arrival.
ST: Antoine Griezmann – 4/10 – Didn’t lubricate Atletico’s play nearly enough to justify constantly dropping off the frontline and robbing Atletico of a forward option.
Jose Gimenez (23′ for Reinildo) – 7/10
Angel Correa (46′ for Barrios) – 2/10
Thomas Lemar (57′ for Llorente) – 5/10
Axel Witsel (76′ for Koke) – N/A
Alvaro Morata (76′ for Saul) – N/A
Diego Simeone – 6/10 – Ultimately, the tactics of defence first, second and third worked in open play. Real only found a way back into the contest via a dead ball that could have been defended better.