Madridistas Match One Another

Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid shared goalless spoils in their Uefa Champions League quarter-final first leg meeting at the Estadio Vicente Calderon on Tuesday night.  Last season’s finalists met for the seventh time this season, with revenge on both their minds.  Unlike the most recent meeting at the same venue when they were without five first-team regulars, Real were at full strength for the first time in five months.

James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and Gareth Bale returned after missing Saturday’s win over Eibar which moved Los Blancos back to within two points of Barcelona at the top of La Liga.  Carlo Ancelotti’s charges came out guns blazing and were all over Atletico from the onset with goal threats from returnees Bale and Rodriguez.  Their attacking intent was clear to see as Ancelotti’s men monopolised possession, but the organised structure of Diego Simeone’s well-drilled side meant the visitors were unable to find a breakthrough.

Slovenian-born goalkeeper Jan Oblak was quick off his line and made brilliant saves to keep a clean sheet.  Los Rojiblancos also received a huge injury boost of their own with the availability of Mario Mandzukic – who suffered a head wound after he was caught by a flailing Sergio Ramos arm – after overcoming an ankle problem which kept him out of their last two games.  The hosts’ best chances came in the final few minutes as midfielder Mario Suarez had an overhead kick pushed away by Iker Casillas and Alvaro Arbeloa blocked Mandzukic’s rasping drive.

Suarez and Marcelo were both booked and will be suspended for the return leg.  The two rivals from the Spanish capital will meet for the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on 22 April.