By 90Min
August 25, 2019

The first Madrid derby of the season saw Leganes and Atletico separated by a Vitolo strike, as Diego Simeone's side made it two wins from two in La Liga.

It was a quiet start to life on the outskirts of the city, with the visitors controlling much of the early play without really testing Juan Soriano in the first half. The lively Alvaro Morata looked the most potent threat, and should have done better on the end of a Kieran Tripper cross on the half-hour mark, but could only fire an effort wide. 

There wasn't much happening at the other end, with Martin Braithwaite creating the occasional hairy moment for Diego Simeone's side, but Leganes' sporadic forays forward in the early stages were dealt with comfortably for the most part.

The game began to open up following the restart, and after a Morata cross was headed off his own post by Roberto Rosales, the right-back found himself with space at the opposite end - after some terrific pressing from the Leganes forward line regained possession in the Atletico area. He snatched at his effort, however, allowing Jan Oblak to recover with a simple save. 

Simeone opted to change the shape midway through the second half in a bid to shift the tide, and after some bewitching footwork from Joao Felix, it was substitute Vitolo who eventually found the breakthrough with a composed low finish. 

So it would stay, with Atletico, seasoned experts at game-management, seeing it out comfortable. Leganes will feel hard-done-by for their endeavour, but you'd struggle to begrudge Los Rojiblancos their derby day win. 


Leganes

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Soriano (6); Tarin (6), Omeruo (6), Siovas (7); Rosales (7), Mesa (6), Perez (6), Eraso (6), Silva (6); En-Nesyri (6), Braithwaite (6)

Subs: Bastinza (6), Arnaiz (5), Aviles (5)


Atletico Madrid

Key Talking Point


There were no personnel surprises in the Atletico lineup, with Mario Hermoso coming  in for the suspended Renan Lodi after his sending-off last weekend, but the system did raise an eyebrow or two, as rather than the standard Simeone 4-4-2, Atleti lined up with three at the back. 

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/GettyImages

It allowed Trippier and his opposite number Thomas Lemar to offer some additional width, while giving licence to Koke and Saul to get forward and support the front two. Or it should have...in theory. 

In practice, however, Atletico often found themselves as second best to their Madrid rivals, particularly when the home side stepped up the tempo in the second half, and this resulted in a change back to their more familiar set-up, with Vitolo replacing Hermoso from the bench. 

They are of course experts at winning these types of game, and after the changes made an immediate impact, Vitolo stroked home to give them the lead. And they didn't look back. 

BENJAMIN CREMEL/GettyImages

It's two narrow wins from two for Simeone's side, and another dogged performance that suggests they will continue to get results when it matters. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Oblak (7); Savic (7), Gimenez (6), Hermoso (6); Trippier (6), Koke (6), Thomas (7), Saul (6), Lemar (7); Felix (7), Morata (6)

Subs: Vitolo (7), Llorente (6), Felipe (4)


Star Man - Joao Felix

It wasn't a great day at the office for Atletico, but when the team is struggling to create, you need someone to step up with a moment of magic. And while it was Vitolo who found the crucial finish, 19 year-old Joao Felix was responsible for creating it out of almost nothing.

Taking a seemingly innocuous ball from Koke down the right channel, the former Benfica man inverted his run, left Dimitris Siovas for dead, and casually played a perfectly weighted ball through the eye of a needle to the winger, who did the build-up play justice with his finish.

Felix may have better games, but two games into his career in Spain, he's already showing that he can make the difference. 


Looking Ahead

Leganes face Real Betis away on Saturday, while Atletico face SD Eibar at home. 

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