With the 2021-22 LaLiga crown in hand, Carlo Ancelotti rested a lot of his starters from Actual’s unimaginable Champions League semifinal comeback win over Manchester City on Wednesday, together with Karim Benzema, Thibaut Courtois and Vinicius Junior.
The hosts broke by close to the top of a scoreless first half, when Matheus Cunha drew a penalty on Actual Madrid’s Nacho and Yannick Carrasco transformed the spot kick to present Atleti a 1-0 lead on the break.
“It is an important win immediately,” mentioned Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who made quite a lot of good saves within the second half. “It was a really tough sport. Madrid are champions however they performed nicely, they wished the three factors.
“We had plenty of probabilities within the second half however did not end off the sport. Fortunately we stored a clear sheet and one aim was sufficient.”
Atleti had a number of alternatives all through the second half to increase their lead, however Andriy Lunin, deputising for Courtois, made some key saves and Carrasco hit the submit simply after 75 minutes with solely the keeper to beat.
Nacho had an opportunity to move Actual stage as full-time approached, however he did not make good contact with a cross from Vinicius from an opportunity that the lacking Benzema has made a behavior of changing all season.
“Karim was drained, he hadn’t recovered,” Ancelotti mentioned after the match. “The very first thing I’ve to do is keep away from issues. Luka [Modric] was a bit drained too, I most popular to not begin him.
“The thought is to have the entire squad obtainable on the twenty eighth. [Luka] Jovic had some issues. We could not play out from the again, so the forwards had extra difficulties than the remainder.”
The end result retains Actual Madrid on 81 factors from 35 video games, whereas Atleti transfer up 64 factors, six forward of fifth-placed Real Betis within the battle for the ultimate Champions League spot in LaLiga.
Oblak added: “Very pleased with the three factors on this combat for the Champions League, it is an necessary step.”
“The boss picks the crew,” Vazquez mentioned. “We go onto the pitch to do in addition to doable. We now have three video games left after which the Champions League last, we’ll should work exhausting to win the trophy.
“One of the simplest ways to organize for the Champions League last is with these three video games. Within the Spanish league no sport is simple.”
It was a historical past making evening for Diego Simeone, who notched his tenth victory over Actual in 36 tries, passing Luis Aragones because the winningest Atleti coach in Madrid derby historical past.
“Soccer is complicated,” Ancelotti mentioned. “We have to end this season in addition to doable. We now have unimaginable followers, we have had an inconsistent season they usually’ve at all times been with us. It was emotional immediately to see our followers, earlier than the sport. We now have a duty to the followers and the membership to keep up this stage to the top.
“Ancelotti? Admiration. He is a rare coach, successful 5 totally different leagues, and admiration for his persona. He is the identical when he wins and when he loses. That is what makes you’ve got admiration for Ancelotti.”