Carlo Ancelotti rarely shackles the stars from the attack. Real Madrid’s front line thanked the coach for his free approach in the Madrid derby. Atletico has prepared a more thoughtful tactic. Diego Simeone has achieved success in the middle block and high pressure. The opponent won thanks to the leaders and transitional phases.
Before the first goal, Atletico defended in the middle block. Simeone’s team was built according to the 4–4‑2 scheme and limited Real Madrid’s positional attacks. During the opening 15 minutes, Carlo Ancelotti’s players never hit the goal and gave out only one action in someone else’s penalty area — we are talking about Eder Militao’s discount after a corner in the 11th minute.
Simeone paid special attention to Vinicius. Marcos Llorente personally acted against the Brazilian. Sometimes Angel Correa helped Kraik: the Argentine shifted deeper and fought back in a wide area or insured the semi-flank. Together, the players of Atletico have forged someone else’s star. The hosts’ winger gave out only one successful stroke out of six and lost the ball six times (the most in the team).
After Karim Benzema’s goal, Atletico turned on the pressure. The pressure of the team was built according to the 4–3‑3 scheme. Simeone’s midfielders and forwards acted in such a way as to drive Real Madrid into the flank, incline them to a long pass or a loss.
Despite the change of approach, Atletico has kept the quality. After Benzema’s goal, Real Madrid lost the ball 13 times in the home half – the opponent made only two mistakes. In the 35th minute, a successful high single combat brought the guests a penalty, in which Antoine Griezmann got into the nine–dragged Thibaut Courtois. Simeone’s pressure worked no worse than a neat defence.
Both of Real Madrid’s goals came from transitional phases. In the first case, the attack was launched by Luka Modric’s interception in the middle line. After that, Atletico did not have time to build a defence, as Vinicius found himself in the right semi-flank and successfully shot at Benzema. Finally, Karim’s shot came out perfect: fast, solid and against the move of Jan Cloud.
Before the second goal, Real Madrid suddenly jumped out from under pressure. A long pass helped, which delivered the ball to the final third. Atletico did not restore the defence, as Vinicius rolled on Marco Asensio. In the 48th minute, the Spaniard took the ball from the Brazilian in the penalty area and waited in vain with a shot. On the 57th, he struck no worse than Benzema.
The result is that Atletico built better tactics, but Real Madrid caught the opponent in the transition phases. Ancelotti’s team took advantage of rare cases when the opponent did not have time to build a defence. It turned out thanks to the stars.
Ancelotti’s style is to work personally with top players. Carlo rarely drives big players into a tactical framework. The Italian’s love of freedom is one of the reasons why Vinicius grew up in the 2021/22 season. In the Madrid derby, the Brazilian and other Real Madrid stars repaid the coach for his trust.