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Winners & Losers

Vinicius Junior dances above the hate! Real Madrid winners, losers and ratings from emotional derby clash with Atletico

7:46 am AEST 19/9/22
Real Madrid celebrate Atletico 2022-23
Real Madrid responded energetically to a week of outside distraction and racism aimed towards their players with a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid.

Vinicius Junior appeared to be as amped as he's ever been on a football pitch when team-mate and compatriot Rodrygo put Real Madrid ahead of Atletico Madrid with a tremendous first-half strike.

The celebratory dancing was smooth, but the yell Vinicius Junior let out right after was raw. A release of sorts after spending the build-up to a derby facing racist abuse rather than getting to focus on his opponent.

Real Madrid backed their star winger on Sunday with a cohesive team performance that preserved their perfect La Liga record. Six wins from six in the Spanish top-flight this season, plus two from two in the Champions League and a victory in the UEFA Super Cup.

Their togetherness, as much as anything else, fuelled their dramatic European triumph last year and has only grown stronger this term. Carlo Ancelotti built a family.

They all met with smiles again when Federico Valverde doubled the advantage in the 36th minute and were relieved when Mario Hermoso's 83rd-minute goal proved nothing more than a consolation.

Bad actors at the Wanda Metropolitano marred the occasion with vile monkey chants before the match and during its latter stages, however the defining image was arguably still the bright energy of Vinicius Junior and his team-mates as they marched to their derby victory.

"Dance wherever you want," he tweeted right after the win.

  • Real Madrid 2022-23

    The Winners

    Winner: Vinicius Junior

    While he struggled to channel his emotions into on-field production at times, this was undoubtably still a show of mental fortitude to go a full 90 minutes in hostile conditions as his team continued to roll even in the absence of injured striker Karim Benzema. He now gets to link up with supportive Brazil team-mates on international duty.

    Winner: Rodrygo

    The Brazilian forward combined well with Aurelien Tchouameni before running onto the latter's magnificent pass and applying a wonderful finish. He was a key figure in the win due to his movement and ability to link up with those around him.

    Winner: Federico Valverde

    His drive into the Atletico Madrid half played an important part in the build up to the first goal. He came rushing in at the back post to meet the ball after Vinicius Junior hit the post and fired in the second goal of the game.

    Winner: Aurelien Tchouameni

    A lovely performance from the Frenchman. His pass for the first goal was astounding and he looked solid in the centre of the midfield. Truly a standout performer for Real Madrid this season.

  • Atletico Madrid 2022-23

    The Losers

    Loser: Atletico Madrid fans

    The tone was set even before the game when a group of supporters were recorded making a racist chant about Vinicius Junior outside the stadium. That continued inside when the game was in progress and they had to be warned to stop throwing things onto the field in the first half. Even though it was only a subsection of the crowd, it was a terrible look for the hosts.

    Loser: Reinildo

    Arguably lucky to stay on the field for his tackle on Rodrygo in the first half. The defender has been a resilient presence for Atletico but he was a liability in this game because of the many fouls he made.

    Loser: Joao Felix

    The 22-year-old was not nearly enough of a threat and seemed to be behind the pace in this match. Not much help when Atletico tried to apply pressure from the front when not chasing possession and did not do enough with the ball himself. Was substituted just after the hour mark.

  • Atletico Madrid Real Madrid 2022-23

    Real Madrid Ratings: Defence

    Thibaut Courtois (7/10):

    He pulled off four saves in the first half to ensure his side went in with a two-goal lead at the break. The second half was a quiet one until late on, when he missed his effort to stop a cross from a corner and allowed Hermoso to pull a goal back.

    Dani Carvajal (7/10):

    Looked strong at right-back for much of the game and provided a fun moment for fans of the away side when he jumped over a sliding tackle from Griezmann.

    Eder Militao (7/10):

    Calm and composed, the centre-back was a strong figure in the heart of the Real Madrid back-line. He goes about his job quietly and gave very little away again tonight.

    David Alaba (7/10):

    Looked good alongside his centre-back partner and did well to keep Atletico's attack quiet.

    Ferland Mendy (5/10):

    The weak link in the defence, he was booked in the first half and was at risk of getting sent off later on. He just didn't add enough to Real Madrid in this match.

  • Luka Modric Real Madrid 2022-23

    Midfield

    Luka Modric (7/10):

    Classy in the build-up to the second goal and strolled through this match. It's tough to believe that he is 37 years old and still playing like this.

    Aurelien Tchouameni (8/10):

    That pass! An unbelievable ball to Rodrygo for the opening goal, but he did much more than that throughout this game. He's a key part of this fantastic midfield, pitching in defensively as well as pulling some strings.

    Toni Kroos (7/10):

    Kroos is subtle but vital for Madrid. Made an important clearance in the first half and was a strong passer, pulling off some nice long balls and looked so comfortable on the ball.

  • Federico Valverde Real Madrid 2022-23

    Attack

    Federico Valverde (8/10):

    The Uruguayan is in fantastic form this season and maintained his excellent start to the season on Sunday. His determination, drive and impressive energy were important in the first two goals and show why he is such a class player for Carlo Ancelotti's team.

    Rodrygo (8/10):

    Added an incredible finish for the game's first goal after linking up with Tchouameni and looked excellent throughout the game until he was taken off with less than five minutes left to play.

    Vinicius Junior (7/10):

    Did some great work to set up the second goal, bursting forward with immense pace and hitting the post. He made some good runs but was not enough of a direct threat for Madrid.

  • Carlo Ancelotti Real Madrid 2022-23

    Subs & Manager

    Antonio Rudiger (6/10):

    Came on to replace Ferland Mendy with 15 minutes left and immediately showed his strength by cutting off an Atletico attack with a no nonsense clearance.

    Eduardo Camavinga (6/10):

    Replaced Luka Modric after 80 minutes and put his energy to good use as Real Madrid tried to protect their lead.

    Marco Asensio (N/A):

    Played less than five minutes.

    Dani Ceballos (N/A):

    Came on at the same time as Asensio.

    Carlo Ancelotti (9/10): Set his team up very well to keep Atletico quiet and his team played some lovely football at times, treating us to two fantastic goals.