Can Atletico Madrid be considered title contenders after beating Real Madrid?
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti had a lot of tough questions to face after his side faced defeat at the hands of derby rivals Atletico Madrid. Los Blancos were defeated at home (Estadio Santiago Bernabeu), in what was the first loss of their La Liga campaign.
Ancelotti had a busy summer, but despite bringing in big names and inheriting arguably the most ferocious squad in the world, the Italian tactician has faced a difficult time in producing success. Ancelotti admits he has a lot of work to do, sentiments that are shared by Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.
By the looks of it Atletico Madrid are slowly turning out to be third big club in Spain. They have now defeated Real Madrid twice at home and are currently breathing down Barcelona’s neck for the top position in La Liga.
Atletico Madrid remains undefeated in the league. They have acquired maximum points from all seven games in the league, which leaves them at equal points on top of the La Liga table where Barcelona sits with 21 points. Goal difference of five separates the two teams. Meanwhile, Real Madrid sits third, five points away from both teams.
Atletico Madrid are currently being hailed as title contenders, but their manager Diego Simeone has refrained from accepting such honors for his side. Ronaldo believes Atletico Madrid is still far away from toppling Real Madrid and Barcelona.
“Looking at the table you would say yes, but the economic power of Barcelona and Real Madrid is important,” Ronaldo said. “We will go game by game.
“The result is much better than anything. I compare it to the final because winning a cup final at the stadium of your eternal rival is important. It was a very good performance. I congratulate my players because they have responded very well in a very important game.”
Despite the lack of faith in Atletico Madrid’s abilities from Ronaldo, it was the smaller side from Madrid that defeated Real Madrid at their home and are heading strongly towards their next challenge.
Diego Costa, who provided Atletico Madrid with the winner in the 1-0 victory over Real Madrid, was hailed as the hero of the night. Atletico Madrid captain Gabi paid a special tribute to the goalscorer.
“He is a very important player for us, he is indispensable to the team, the team knows what he wants. He is growing as a player and is vital to us,” Gabi said.