Marcos Llorente’s Last Minute Equaliser Ensures Atlético de Madrid Stay In the Top 4

The previous two editions of the 23/24 Madrid Derby have treated us to some memorable scenes and action-packed drama, and part three today ended with Marcos Llorente scoring a last-minute equaliser to ensure both teams continue their streak of not finding a winner in regular time. For context, the two contested three derbies on three different stages in three competitions and three weeks, with Real winning the Super Cup semifinal tie, Atlético getting revenge in the Copa del Rey, and now the two splitting the points in La Liga. It is the fixture I most look forward to this season, and the latest edition definitely delivered with former Real player Marcos Llorente stealing the limelight from his previous club.

Marcos Llorente Comes Back to Haunt His Former Club

Atlético has been a bogey team of late for Real as Los Blancos have lost two of their last four games against the Los Colchoneros, with their most recent meeting ending with their elimination from the Copa del Rey. Fueled by the spirit of exacting revenge, Real Madrid started the game all guns blazing, with Brahim Díaz rattling the Atlético defence and Oblak twice in the opening four minutes.

As Madrid dominated proceedings with their possession play, they forced the opener despite Atlético furiously claiming offside as the ball deflected off Vázquez into the path of Díaz before the Spanish winger composed himself with some close touches in the box before dispatching the goal into the back of the net. After a quick VAR check, the goal stood, and Real were on the way to extending their lead at the top of the table.

With Atlético offering more in retaliation, the game became an end-to-end match, with both teams creating chances and forcing some incredible saves from their keepers. As the tie descended into the final minutes of the game, Atlético’s persistence finally paid off when Depay’s looping header found Marcos Llorente, who nodded his unsavable header off the underside of the crossbar and levelled up the encounter. As the son, grandson, nephew and great-nephew of professional footballers who dedicated their careers to Real, it was one of the best clap back to the club that disowned him.

Marcos Llorente and Diego Simeone Content with Goal and Result 

Speaking to Movistar in his post-match interview, Marcos Llorente stated: “The goal tastes very good, we worked hard during the game, we got a point, and we are happy with the team’s work. It doesn’t taste like a win the way the game was going, but we got a valuable point.”

As for Diego Simeone, he felt the encounter was strange and admitted Real played better than them. “For me, it was a strange game as they were better than us. It was a long game in the second half, with few chances for either side. It was not a vibrant Derby like the other three we played this season. I think for both teams, it was a planned game. We sought to give vitality with Marcos Llorente as a central midfielder, Barios with more space, and Memphis up front. Our merit in scoring was because we looked for the goal. It is a shame not to have scored before because we came to the Bernabéu to win it.”

As for what Marcos Llorente’s equaliser meant for the team heading forward, Simeone replied: “This draw helps us to continue adding to the League. The point doesn’t matter to me at all. The team looked for it at the end because they could have given themselves up, but they looked for it and got a well-deserved draw.”

Also Read: Africa Cup of Nations 2023: Mohamed Salah’s Absence Proved a Challenge Too Far as Egypt Crashed Out on Penalties Against DR Congo

Carlo Ancelotti Not Displeased with Last-Minute Goal

When managers find their team conceding a last-gasp goal, they will either be furious or shell-shocked on the touchline like Jürgen Klopp demonstrated throughout his managerial career. However, Carlo Ancelotti is a different breed, as it takes much more for the Italian to flinch. In his post-match conference, Ancelotti was calm and collected as he responded to the questions. 

Regarding thoughts about the game, Ancelotti stated: “It was a good game from our side. We controlled the game but were unlucky to concede a goal in the last minute. We did well, we deserved to win, but we have nothing to complain about. We are leaders and have another chance to take a big step forward next Saturday. The team has to be calm. A good point has come out of it.”

Where to Watch Real Madrid’s Match Against Girona This Week?

Real Madrid have to shake off Marcos Llorente’s equaliser quickly as they will now head to a 6-pointer clash against Girona on Sunday, with the result proving critical in this season’s title race. If Real replicates their earlier encounter, Los Blancos will extend their lead to 5 points. 

However, if Girona continue to surprise, they will leapfrog Real as leaders in La Liga. To catch all the build-up and action, follow AsiaSport for the latest news and updates regarding both teams. Moreover, bookmark the page for high-definition highlights of matches you may have missed.

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