Diego Simeone pulls an old trick on Real Madrid! Winners & losers as Atletico boss manages to keep Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior quiet in derby draw

Diego Simeone conducted an Atletico Madrid masterclass to escape the Santiago Bernabeu with a point in a 1-1 draw.

These performances have been missing for Atletico Madrid. Too often, veteran manager Diego Simeone's signature suffocating style has failed to produce the traditional results that led him to be the join-most experienced manager in club history.

But on Saturday, his tactics were executed to perfection in a 1-1 draw.

Real Madrid had few clear opportunities, with Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior mostly quieted. Atleti enjoyed the odd promising burst forward, particularly over the opening 45 minutes.

The Rojiblancos kept it tight for the remainder of the game, staying in it even after substituted midfielder Angel Correa was sent off under controversial circumstances. They were rewarded for their defensive grit and grabbed a crucial goal at the other end.

Antoine Griezmann whipped in a great cross, which Jose Gimenez guided into the far corner, giving Atleti a 1-0 lead with 12 minutes remaining.

But Real Madrid got a moment of magic from an unlikely source to salvage a point, as 18-year-old Alvaro Rodriguez nodded a header home in his second La Liga appearance.

Still, this one was all about a vintage showing from a manager who showed he can still inspire a perfect big-game performance all on his own terms.

GOAL breaks down the winners & losers from Santiago Bernabeu...

  1. WINNER: Diego Simeone

    It felt like the good old days. Simeone engineered a masterclass here, a performance that evoked memories of the Atleti of 2013. The Argentine manager started the game without a recognised striker, packed his midfield with four strong-minded players, and swarmed Real's attacking trio every time they touched the ball.

    The gamesmanship was here, too.

    Atleti took ages to take free kicks, went down with the slightest of touches and had a player sent off, just for good measure. Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema barely had a sniff, and Atleti were just dangerous enough on the counter to make things interesting. Job done.

  2. LOSER: Real Madrid's midfield
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    LOSER: Real Madrid's midfield

    Although Diego Simeone changed his formation, Atleti still squeeze the centre of the pitch with four physical midfielders. Real Madrid's best counter to that was always going to be moving the ball quickly and exploiting what few spaces they were offered.

    Their midfield, though, was lethargic. While they didn't lack fight, the creativity necessary to carve out opportunities simply wasn't there. Toni Kroos wasn't quick enough. Dani Ceballos lacked any spark. And Fede Valverde, the brightest of the three, never found the final ball.

    Real Madrid seemed to miss Luka Modric, who was only fit enough to play the last 30 minutes after putting in a shift against Liverpool in the Champions League midweek. When he came on, things looked better. But Los Blancos needed what he offered for a full 90.

  3. WINNER: Alvaro Rodriguez

    WINNER: Alvaro Rodriguez

    Not a bad way to mark his second La Liga appearance.

    Alvaro was thrown on in the 77th minute, as a speculative late heave from Ancelotti. And it worked out for the Real manager, as Alvaro marked his second La Liga showing with a well-taken header to the far post. His goal did little in the scope of the title race; Real still needed three points here.

    But that a backup striker managed to find the net is a clear sign of encouragement for Ancelotti. Los Blancos have often looked lost when Benzema isn't in the team, and have pined for a reserve no. 9. It remains to be seen if Alvaro can be a reliable goalscorer. Still, the fact that he popped up with a goal off the bench is massively encouraging.

  4. LOSER: Carlo Ancelotti

    LOSER: Carlo Ancelotti

    Things were less agreeable in the other dugout. This was far from Ancelotti's finest hour. Real Madrid went from their best performance of the season to their worst in the span of five days. Ancelotti's side were all energy on Tuesday, picking Liverpool apart with ease after falling into a 2-0 hole. Here, they were entirely lacking in that zip.

    While Ancelotti doesn't necessarily need to change anything, he perhaps could have prepared tactically for the kind of game Simeone was going to play. At this point, there are no surprises in Atleti's setup or style. And coming off an intense Champions League fixture, Real were always going to have a difficult time. It's on their manager to try something in order to make things easier. He simply didn't.

  5. WINNER: Barcelona
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    WINNER: Barcelona

    Every Real Madrid point dropped is a massive win for Barcelona. The Blaugrana aren't necessarily going to have it easy over the coming months. Although it's been a successful league campaign so far, Xavi's side are undoubtedly going to have tricky moments.

    A buffer, then, is vital. And Atleti did them a massive favour here. If Barca do as expected and win Sunday, their lead atop La Liga will be 10 points, with 15 games to go. A poor run could see that gap shrink. But that's a handsome advantage to carry into the final stages of the season.

  6. LOSER: Reinildo

    This is exactly what Atleti didn't want.

    Reinildo was stretchered off after 25 minutes with an apparent leg injury. It looked a nasty one, too, as the right-back appeared to jam his leg into the turf. He went down clutching his knee, and was unable to put weight on his left leg. The 29-year-old has been one of Atleti's best performers this season, with his stellar defensive work contributing to the Rojiblancos' five-game unbeaten run.

    Simeone and Co. will hope that it's not a long-term injury. But the early signs don't look good.