Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid result: Atleti collects critical three points against second-choice Real Madrid lineup
In a frustrating Madrid derby for both teams, it’s clear which team needed the points in a top-four battle and which team had already locked up the league title.
Carlo Ancelotti gave a number of first-choice players rest with the La Liga crown already secured, and Real Madrid was soundly beaten by a desperate Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano. Yannick Carrasco’s penalty proved the difference in the 1-0 victory, but he also saw multiple chances to put the game away go begging.
In the end, Real Madrid won't care about the result, having already wrapped up the league and looking ahead to the Champions League final, while Atletico Madrid won't care how the three points are secured. Diego Simeone needed the victory badly as the club pushes for a top-four finish, and came away with the prize.
Ancelotti's next task is to navigate the coming weeks with as few injuries as possible while also seeing his best players not lose form, which is a difficult tightrope to walk. Today at the Wanda Metropolitano, he chose to keep his most valuable assets out of harm's way, at the expense of the relatively meaningless result.
MORE: Why Atletico Madrid is refusing a guard of honor for Real Madrid league title win
Sporting News will be following the match live and providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.
It was far from a classic, and the goal was dubious, but Atletico Madrid deserved victory against a sputtering Real Madrid, and the hosts see out the match.
Both teams missed clear chances, but the home side had far more, and could have won by a far bigger margin on another day. Real Madrid had little to savor in the match, with the second-choice lineup well beaten by Atletico Madrid's pressure throughout. The hosts sat back more in the second half, but still created plenty of opportunities on the counter-attack. Yannick Carrasco was dangerous throughout the match, but left his shooting boots in the locker room.
Karim Benzema was left on the bench by Ancelotti, and it showed. The drop-off from Real Madrid's first-choice lineup to second-choice is quite cavernous.
88th min: CHANCE, Real Madrid! After what felt like an hour of the referee making sure a free-kick is taken appropriately, a solid routine from the visitors saw a deflected shot parried just wide by a diving Oblak.
Then, on the ensuing corner cycled back in, a free header by Nacho is sent over the crossbar. The defender mis-timed his jump and the ball came off his shoulder. You could almost see Benzema finishing that one, but the Frenchman remains on the bench...
Simeone with his classic defensive substitution as Rodrigo de Paul comes on for Cunha. Five minutes of added time to navigate.
81st min: Into the final 10 minutes, where Real Madrid has scored 10 goals across its last six matches.
Cunha tries to get Vallejo sent off for an elbow to the face. Replay shows there's nothing there, entirely unintentional and inadvertant.
77th min: CHANCE, Atletico! HOW HAS CARRASCO MISSED?! From the left, the Atleti winger is all alone against Lunin. He beat the goalkeeper one-on-one, but smacks his near-post shot against the woodwork. It's a dreadful miss, Atletico should have about 4 goals today. Diego Simeone is shown pointing to the sky pleading with the appropriate diety for someone in his squad to finish a chance.
76th min: CHANCE, Atletico! It's just not happening for poor Antoine Griezmann this season. Beautiful work from Carrasco finds Griezmann with a lot of space at the penalty spot, but his off-balance turn and shoot goes wide as he falls over. Carrasco wanted the return pass. It's a big chance gone begging, and another letoff for the visitors.
70th min: CHANCE, Real Madrid! It's a THUNDEROUS effort from Valverde from an even deeper position than before, and Jan Oblak produces a wonderful leaping save to get his fingertips to the shot. Oblak, again, is furious with his defensive teammates, who have allowed a few more openings to Real Madrid this half.
Atleti breaks down the other end after, and Nacho receives a yellow card for hacking down Koke on the counter. Reinildo is down injured, and he'll come off with Felipe to replace him. Crowd gives the fallen defender an applause.
67th min: Vinicius Jr's first action is to burst forward on a counter and delivery a fabulous feed to Asensio, but after taking it onto his left, Asensio's shot is blocked with the head of Reinildo. A necessary block on a vicious effort.
Carlo Ancelotti receives a long-distance yellow card from the official, and then Valverde rifles a shot wide from a tight angle. Two more changes for Real Madrid: Luka Modric replaces Toni Kroos, and Eder Militao withdrawn for Ferland Mendy, leaving Nacho to swap into the center-back role.
63rd min: CHANCE, Atletico! Good opportunity again for Atleti, but it's a poor finish for Cunha from a tight angle, and Lunin is there to make the stop.
Then, a yellow card to Savic who pummels Rodrygo with a hip check, and Real Madrid has a good look from a free-kick. Awful far-post delivery from Asensio who sends it far too deep.
60th min: CHANCE, Atletico! Straight after the Real Madrid miss, Atletico has one of its own. It's Carrasco again who gets a chance after another Madrid turnover, but he rifles it just over the crossbar.
Here come the Real Madrid reinforcements, as Vinicius Jr and Federico Valverde comes on in favor of Casemiro and Luka Jovic. It's bang on the hour mark, indicating the change is likely pre-planned.
Ancelotti has a spirited hug for Casemiro and a laugh, presumably about Casemiro's last opportunity in front of goal. If there's an indication of how little this match means to Real Madrid, it's there. In high spirits despite the performance. Meanwhile, for the team that's in front...
59th min: CHANCE, Real Madrid! A rare shot from Casemiro finds the safe hands of Jan Oblak. The opportunity came off a quickly taken free kick in Madrid's own half, carried forward by the Brazilian. He fed Lucas Vazquez then got it back inside the box, but looped it into the hands of the goalkeeper trying to bend it into the corner on the run. It's a good look wasted.
56th min: Vrsaljko had Marcos Llorente streaking down the right touchline but decides to cycle the ball, and Diego Simone loses his absolute mind. The crowd is frustrated by Atletico's lack of intensity too. The game has lost a lot of the edge it had in the first half, and it's seen Real Madrid hardly troubled at all.
Griezmann looks to change that, but his shot goes well over the crossbar from a long way out.
50th min: Jovic with an awkward shot that's blocked by Savic. The shot was somewhat telegraphed, and Jovic wasn't able to create the space he needed. Needless to say, the Serbian isn't quite Karim Benzema out there.
48th min: Real Madrid with the lion's share of early possession to start the second half, while Atletico sits deep and tries to create more opportunities on Madrid mistakes. The Atletico pressing isn't nearly as intense as in the first half, but still arrives in moments. Crowd also not as charged as the first half.
46th min: Kickoff of the second half brings a personnel change, but it's for the hosts, not the visitors. Antoine Griezmann comes on to replace Angel Correa.
It's not the Real Madrid lineup fans are used to, and it's hasn't been a typical Real Madrid performance either. Meanwhile, the hosts have produced a riveting display as Atleti pressed Real into multiple mistakes, and while it came on a dubious decision via VAR, Atletico Madrid is in front on Carrasco's penalty.
It's easy to pick out which team needs this game to save its Champions League hopes and which team has already won the league title. We will see what changes Carlo Ancelotti has in store, as the Italian has been one of the best in the world at halftime alterations.
45+2 min: CHANCE, Real Madrid! Vrsaljko throws in a crunching tackle on Rodrygo to dispossess, but it falls right to Luka Jovic one-on-one with Jan Oblak. The veteran Atletico goalkeeper saw it coming and smothered the chance before the shot is taken.
44th min: Toni Kroos with Real Madrid's best chance of the half, a speculative shot from distance that flashes wide and produces a full-stretch dive from Jan Oblak. It's only a half-chance, and sums up Real Madrid's first half.
40th min: GOAL! Atletico! After a long wait, Carrasco deposits the ball into the back of the net, and the hosts are in front against a second-choice Real Madrid side!
Vallejo received a yellow card for his tackle on review, who will feel hard done by, as the tackle was wobbly, but there really didn't appear enough to change the game with a penalty. It's a soft decision, but Atletico won't care. Marcos Llorente also received a yellow for dissent while arguing for the decision before it was sent to VAR.
36th min: PENALTY, Atletico! Goodness, ANOTHER giveaway by Madrid in a dangerous position, this time by Asensio, and it results in another breakaway from Atletico. It's Cunha right down the gut, and he's sandwiched by Vallejo and Militao. It's a very clumsy challenge by Vallejo, but he's not really clattered Cunha enough to award a penalty.
Or has he? It's a VAR review! The VAR official is the only referee not to have overturned a decision yet this season, but a penalty is given!!! On review, the foot of Vallejo did just barely clip Cunha as he went down.
30th min: CHANCE, Atletico! A stunning move saw Marcos Llorente feed Cunha with a back-heel, but a heroic block from Nacho stops the wide-open shot. Real Madrid breaks quickly down the other end through Asensio, but his outside-foot feed is intercepted at the last moment.
Neither goalkeeper has registered an official save thus far.
28th min: And now Lucas Vazquez goes into the book after taking down Carrasco on the wing. The Madrid defender was beat and threw his body into the opponent. "If Real Madrid defend any deeper, they're going to be onto the Size 10's of goalkeeper Andriy Lunin" says the play-by-play commentator on the ensuing free-kick.
24th min: Atletico remains on the front foot as Camavinga nearly gets himself in trouble with a dicey tackle and messy possession, before a Carrasco cross is just over the head of Correa and wide of the far post. It's been a very nervy start for Real Madrid, who's been both messy on the ball and disorganized off it.
20th min: Luka Jovic, who's had hardly a touch on the ball, is the recipient of the first caution of the game, catching Angel Correa on the ankle. It's a questionable one because he won the ball first, but then follows through onto the ankle with his studs.
18th min: Real Madrid has snuffed the air out of Atletico's hot start somewhat by possessing the ball in midfield, but there's no challenge of Atletico Madrid's third of the pitch. The second-choice starting lineup has been quite poor through the opening minutes, pressed into oblivion by the home side early.
Carrasco sends an Atleti corner out of play with a poor delivery.
9th min: CHANCE, Atletico! Real Madrid is on its heels early on, and this time it's Carrasco who misses the target with plenty of the net to shoot at. He sends Casemiro for a hot dog but can't get his near-post effort on frame. Atletico should be up 2-0, we'll see how much they rue these missed early chances.
7th min: Another awful Real Madrid giveaway in their own defensive half comes from a bad Casemiro back-pass, but Militao, the only man back, does excellently to defend tightly and block the ensuing shot.
4th min: CHANCE, Atletico! A huge miss! Toni Kroos is mugged at the top of the penalty area by Geoffrey Kondogbia thanks to a telegraphed Camavinga pass, but Angel Correa's slump continues as he flashes the excellent opportunity wide. The angle of the shot was tight, but he had plenty of the goal to shoot at.
2nd min: Just 60 seconds into the game and debut goalkeeper Andriy Lunin is already called into action, coming off his line to make an emphatic punch under pressure. It's not cleared fully, but the ensuing Atletico shot goes well over the bar as Lunin scrambles to get back in net.
1st min: The match is under way in the Spanish capital! A critical 90 minutes for Atletico Madrid, while Real Madrid will hope to keep hold of local bragging rights.
3 mins to kick: The teams are out of the tunnel, and as expected Real Madrid does not get a guard of honour from its local rivals.
15 mins to kick: A late change for Real Madrid sees Luka Jovic come in at striker for Mariano, who was injured in the warmup. It's the first minutes for Jovic since February. Karim Benzema remains on the bench.
35 mins to kick: Real Madrid will see 23-year-old Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Lunin start in net for the first time in league play this season. Warming up with regular netminder Thibaut Courtois prior to the match at the Wanda Metropolitano.
60 mins to kick: Barcelona threw some shade yesterday with a post thanking Real Betis for their guard of honour last season. Atletico Madrid announced it will not give Real Madrid a guard of honour for winning the Spanish league title.
80 mins to kick: Now Atletico Madrid's lineup has been submitted as well. Shockingly, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez are both on the bench, with Matheus Cunha and Angel Correa starting up top. Geoffrey Kondogbia keeps his place in midfield, with Hector Herrera dropping to the bench in favor of a return for Koke.
105 mins to kick: The Real Madrid lineup is already in, and there's a significant number of starters rested with the league title secure. Most notably, Karim Benzema is replaced by Mariano up front, while Thibaut Courtois is rested in goal as 23-year-old Andriy Lunin gets the start.
Some more expected changes include Eduardo Camavinga in to replace Luka Modric, and both regular full-backs Dani Carvajal and Ferland Mendy seeing the bench in favor of Lucas Vazquez and Jesus Vallejo.
120 mins to kickoff (7 p.m. local): Gabi scored this incredible goal for Atletico Madrid in March of 2014 in a 2-2 home draw that would begin a four-year stretch of relative success against the local rivals.
Since, it has gone severely downhill. Atletico Madrid have not beaten Real Madrid in any competition since the 2018 UEFA Super Cup final, and not in league play since 2016.
The biggest injury issue for Atletico Madrid is Joao Felix, who has not played since mid-April with a hamstring injury. The Atleti attack has suffered greatly since, with three anaemic displays in the past four league matches. Felix will not play today, aiming for a return in two weeks time.
Midfielder Thomas Lemar is also out with a hamstring injury, and Mario Hermoso is suspended for yellow card accumulation. Atleti do get defender Stefan Savic back from his suspension and he starts at centre-back.
Shockingly, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez are both benched up top, with 22-year-old Mattheus Cunha selected to partner Angel Correa instead. In midfield, Koke returns after being rested last time out, with Hector Herrera sat.
For Real Madrid, having won the league title already, Carlo Ancelotti has rotated the squad. Most notably, Karim Benzema and Thibaut Courtois both start on the bench, with Andriy Lunin in goal and Mariano up front.
In defense, David Alaba is unavailable to take part due to injury, while Eder Militao makes the start next to Nacho Fernandez at center-back. On the edge of the back line is Jesus Vallejo and Lucas Vazquez, as both Ferland Mendy and Dani Carvajal are rested.
Toni Kroos gets the start in midfield, but Luka Modric,is rested with the in-form Eduardo Camavinga stepping in. Vinicius Jr sees the bench in favor of Champions League hero Rodrygo, while Marco Asensio, who scored in this rivalry's reverse fixture, starts on the opposite wing.
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How to watch Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid
The Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid derby match is available in the United States exclusively on ESPN+.
In the UK, it is available on La Liga TV and streaming on Amazon Prime.
In Canada, the match is both broadcasted and streamed by TSN, while beIN Sports is the provider in Australia.
It has been quite a while since I've seen odds that are this nonsensical. Champions League finalists and confirmed La Liga title holders Real Madrid, who won 2-0 in the reverse fixture and 4-0 last weekend with Casemiro at centre-back, are somehow +255 underdogs against an Atletico Madrid side that has won just one of its last four league matches, scoring two goals in the process.
It's utterly baffling how that's played out, almost to the point where it feels like something must be up. The only reason I can think to not bet Real Madrid would be that after clinching the league title, and after the thrashing by Barcelona at the Bernabeu in late March — the club's only dropped points in its last 10 league matches, mind you — maybe Madrid rests players in league play and the team could be forgiven for looking ahead.
Still, Joao Felix hasn't played for Atleti since mid-April due to injury, and the attack has suffered greatly. In addition, Angel Correa is in a brutal slump, with just 0.67 expected goals (xG) in his last eight league appearances, along with just 0.52 expected assists (xA) across that same period. Antoine Griezmann is suffering through a similar dry spell, without a goal since November.
The value here is too good to pass up, even in a match with a second-choice Real Madrid lineup.
Pick: Real Madrid to win to zero (+425 on DraftKings)