Real Madrid: 3 takeaways from a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images) /
1 of 3
Real Madrid, Lucas Vazquez
Real Madrid, Lucas Vazquez (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid had a nightmare of a first half and could have easily conceded a couple of more goals in the second half, were it not for more heroics from star goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. But Real never dropped their heads. They kept fighting to get something out of this match, which is exactly what happened in the 88th minute when Casemiro and Karim Benzema combined for the equalizer to make it 1-1.

Here are three takeaways from the game, which was an ugly one for much of the 90 minutes.

The defense got roasted by Atleti, especially Lucas Vazquez

The duel between Lucas Vazquez and Yannick Carrasco on the right-hand side wasn’t so much of a duel as it was a beating. Carrasco dominated Vazquez for a good hour before being substituted by Diego Simeone for Joao Felix.

But credit to Vazquez for not giving up. He was embarrassed by Carrasco defensively, but at least he never hung his head low and disappeared, which we do see happen sometimes with other players. Vazquez didn’t play well, but he showed the mentality needed at Real Madrid.

Thibaut Courtois had to make a couple of game-saving stops in the second-half, including one that covered by two errors on one play by Raphael Varane. While Varane was actually good for much of the game, he had a sloppy giveaway and was then nutmegged before Courtois saved the day.

As a whole, Real Madrid only gave up one goal, but it could have been worse. The defense must learn from these errors before a second leg against a full-strength Atalanta.