Atlético Madrid vs. Real Madrid  1 - 2


Karanka delighted with derby win

28 April 2013 08:14

Real Madrid assistant coach Aitor Karanka praised his charges after their 2-1 win against local rivals Atletico Madrid.

The two sides went head-to-head in a tussle for the La Liga runners-up spot on Saturday, with Real securing three points thanks to Angel Di Maria's winner.

And with the Spanish champions increasing their lead over third-placed Atletico to six points, Karanka was heartened by the team's performance.

"We knew it would be a very tense match, also because Atletico have not beaten us for so long, so we played a derby for second place," the 39-year-old told reporters.

"The team played as a unit, fighting together with humility. We knew it would be an intense contest from the first minute. The whole team has done a spectacular job.

"We opted for (Sami) Khedira and Pepe today and they both had spectacular matches. We know our players and when we pick the starting XI, we know what we want to do.

"Still, we must continue doing our homework till the end of the league."

Karanka is hopeful Real can transfer the enthusiasm from their win to their upcoming Champions League semi-final clash with Borussia Dortmund, in the hope of overturning a 4-1 deficit from the first leg.

"We knew that the best way to go into Tuesday’s match was by playing well tonight. That is what we’ll take away; the work and effort of everyone," he said.

"For Real Madrid. every single match of the season is important. We have to enjoy what we can from this win and as from tomorrow we'll think about Dortmund."


Simeone rues ´lost chance´

28 April 2013 02:23

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone admitted his side missed a great chance to triumph over local rivals Real Madrid on Saturday evening.

Despite an impressive performance, Atletico went down 2-1 with a Juanfran own goal and a well-taken strike from Angel di Maria cancelling out Rademel Falcao's early header.

But Simeone is confident his side will get another opportunity to get the better of their bitter rivals.

He said: "It is a chance lost by us but there is another one coming soon, there is another one next year, the following year. There will always be chances to get.

"I think right now people don't think it is possible, which is better. But we will have more chances in the years coming. It will come."

Despite the loss, Simeone had no complaints about his side's performance, but rued missed opportunities.

"I think we came into the game in a good pace. They (Real Madrid) scored the goal quickly after our goal," he said

"First 30 minutes the team played in Real Madrid's half, but this is the most important football to have. The team scoring more goals is the team winning the match."

The result means Atletico remain in third place, six points behind Real.


La Liga: Atletico Madrid 1 Real Madrid 2

27 April 2013 21:56

Real Madrid kept their faint title hopes alive with a 2-1 win over local rivals Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon on Saturday.

An own goal from Juanfran and a second-half strike from Angel di Maria were enough to cancel out Radamel Falcao’s early opener, and claim the points for the visitors.

Real Madrid made nine changes from the side that lost to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, with Cristiano Ronaldo being the most notable absentee due to a minor leg injury.

Meanwhile, Diego Costa earned place in the home team’s line-up after having had his yellow card against Sevilla overturned.

Jose Mourinho’s side would have been looking for a positive response on the back of their 4-1 humiliation at the hands of Dortmund in midweek.

But it was Atletico who raced out of the blocks, and were ahead after just four minutes when Falcao took advantage of some sloppy defending to head home a Diego Godin cross at the far post.

Real Madrid struggled to assert themselves on the game early on, with Atletico seeing plenty of the ball in midfield during the opening minutes.

But Real managed to put themselves back on level terms just before the 15-minute mark, when an Angel di Maria free-kick eluded everyone before deflecting off Juanfran to creep past Atletico keeper Thibault Courtois.

Courtois was involved again just before half-time, producing an impressive one-on-one save to deny Karim Benzema inside the box.

The match was a predictably fiery affair during the first period, with a total of six yellow cards shown.

Atletico began the second half with a similar level of urgency, Falcao inches away from connecting with a flashed Lopez cross within a minute of the restart.

Indeed it was the hosts who were seemingly asking all the questions as the second half wore on, with Gabi and Luis Garcia both missing good opportunities.

But it was the visitors who took the lead just after the hour mark, after a swift counter-attack resulted in Di Maria breaking away from the Atletico defence to slot home.

Atletico responded well, and felt they should have had a penalty just a few minutes later, when Falcao was brought down in the box by Michael Essien, who was drafted in at right-back for the evening.

Adrian Lopez replaced Luis Garcia, as the hosts searched for a way back in to the game within the last 20 minutes, but the hosts struggled to find a way through the visitors’ back line.

But when Filipe Luis did manage to find some space in the box in the last few minutes, he could only hit the side netting.

In the end Real held out for their tenth consecutive derby victory, and closed the gap to leaders Barcelona to 11 points with four games remaining. Atletico stay in third.


Cristiano Ronaldo to miss Madrid derby

26 April 2013 19:33

Real Madrid have confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will miss out on Saturday's derby clash against Atletico Madrid due to a leg injury.

The Portuguese star scored his side's away goal in their 4-1 UEFA Champions League defeat to Dortmund on Wednesday night and is not being risked this weekend ahead of the return leg in Spain on Tuesday evening.

The Liga champions, who are 13 points off Barcelona with just 18 to play for, will also be short of defensive options, with Marcelo and Alvaro Arbeloa also struggling.

"Cristiano Ronaldo will not be in the squad for tomorrow," Karanka said.

"The other day before the [Dortmund] game he had a little injury, he has not trained today and he won't play tomorrow. We will see how he progresses."

"With the exception of Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo and [Alvaro] Arbeloa, the rest are well and tomorrow our best team will go out to win."

Karanka believes that a strong performance against Diego Simeone's side would be the perfect preparation for the meeting with Dortmund, which Real must win by a scoreline of 3-0 or by at least a four-goal margin to progress.

He added: "Next Tuesday will be the second leg, but it is hugely important we do not lose this game because they are our rivals for second place, the rivals of the city.

"So, tomorrow's line-up is going to go out with the idea of winning the game. We are only thinking about tomorrow's game in our squad, not Tuesday.

"They [Atletico] haven’t won this game since a long time. We have to be 120 percent like them. They have had a good run at home this season, almost perfect.

"As I said, we are fighting against them for second place. Besides, it is the derby of the city, they have spent a long time not winning this game and they really want to win so we have to go with the highest intensity."


Casillas eager to play again

26 April 2013 14:14

Iker Casillas has pledged to do his utmost to win back his starting berth at Real Madrid after losing his spot to Diego Lopez.

The 31-year-old sustained a fractured hand in Madrid's

1-1 Copa del Rey draw against Valencia in January and has been out of action ever since.

Casillas was given the go-ahead by Madrid's medical staff earlier this month, but manager Jose Mourinho has chosen to stick with the ex-Sevilla and Villarreal man.

However, Casillas is more than willing to fight for his place and is desperate to return to the first team.

"I'm not giving up for a moment. That's good for Diego Lopez too. I keep pushing and it keeps him on his toes. He's put in some really good performances and helped get the team where it is," Casillas said.

"I am ready to play. I'm available for the coach and to help the team. The one who decides is someone else, though, not me.

"Now I have to wait for my chance and make the most of it when it comes. After three months without playing I have the keenness of a child."

Casillas could make his comeback at the weekend as Real Madrid take on city-rivals Atletico on Saturday.


La Liga Preview: Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid

25 April 2013 16:46

Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid go head to head this weekend with both pride and second place in La Liga at stake for the victors.

Atletico have performed above all expectations this season and spent a large part of the campaign ahead of their city rivals in the league table.

Real were able to climb back into second position behind Barcelona but a win for the home side in this fixture would move them level on points.

History is not on Atletico's side as they have not beaten Real since 1999, have lost their last nine meetings and manager Diego Simeone has never tasted victory in the league since taking charge.

However, there was some positive news for Simeone ahead of the game when striker Diego Costa's yellow card from last weekend was overturned on appeal, meaning he will not have to serve a suspension and will be able to play.

Real have not been focusing on the league campaign in recent weeks due to Barcelona's lead at the top and the possibility of a 10th European Cup title, and following their defeat to Borussia Dortmund in their semi-final first leg boss Jose Mourinho may field a weakened side to enable them to prepare for a crucial second leg.

That means the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso and Mesut Ozil could be rested so they are fresh for next week's return match with Dortmund as Mourinho plots a way back into the tie.


Simeone aiming high ahead of Real clash

25 April 2013 03:09

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has argued his side's next step is to reach the top of La Liga ahead of their derby clash with Real Madrid.

Simeone's side will head into Saturday's derby in third place in La Liga, three points behind Real with five games to follow the weekend's action.

If Atletico were to remain third by the end of the campaign, it would be their best finish in La Liga since they won the title in 1995/96 but Simeone wants even more next season.

"For me I would like to be above them all, not just Real Madrid," Simeone said.

"It is not just Madrid, I have no rival."

Saturday's clash will be the first of two between the Madrid-based teams in the space of a month as Real will face Atletico in the final of the Copa del Rey on May 17.

When asked which match he would prefer to win, Simeone argued that, just like Atletico fans, he wants success in both.

"I don't think Atletico Madrid fans would accept a choice between second position and the Copa Del Rey, they want to win the league game and the final," Simeone said.

"We are now on a path in which the only way out is to win."

But Simeone believes, no matter whether Atletico can overhaul Real in the league or not, his players have improved.

"The league does not end on Saturday, obviously there remains many games and our aspirations continue to grow," he said.

"We said earlier in the season, we wanted to improve on last year when we were fifth.

"We can go higher but it is good growth for the club."


Diego Costa cleared to play in Madrid derby

24 April 2013 16:06

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has been cleared to play in Saturday's Madrid derby after his appeal against a yellow card received in the win over Sevilla was upheld.

Costa triggered an automatic one-match ban after receiving his 10th Liga caution of the season for a tackle on Geoffrey Kondogbia during his side's 1-0 victory on Sunday.

However, the Spanish Football Federation have agreed to rescind the yellow card, freeing the Brazilian to play at the Vicente Calderon this weekend.

Atletico go into the game in third place and trailing their city rivals by three points with six games remaining.

Primera División table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +75 100
2 38 +61 85
3 38 +34 76
4 38 +21 66
5 38 +13 65
6 38 +3 57
7 38 +1 56
8 38 -16 53
9 38 +4 50
10 38 -14 47
11 38 -17 46
12 38 -21 45
13 38 -9 44
14 38 -9 43
15 38 -17 42
16 38 -17 39
17 38 -15 37
18 38 -29 36
19 38 -23 35
20 38 -25 34