Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole
's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid
and Real Madrid from the Wanda Metropolitano. Real Madrid have faced criticism this season but top the table with 14 points following their 2-0 win over Osasuna on Wednesday night, while Atletico are fourth with 13 points. Stay tuned for the action!
ATLETICO: Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Gimenez, Lodi; Vitolo, Thomas, Saul, Koke; Felix, Costa
REAL MADRID: Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Nacho; Kroos, Casemiro, Valverde; Bale, Benzema, Hazard
Atletico are without the services of Alvaro Morata after the striker was sent off against Mallorca during the week, meaning that Diego Costa and Joao Felix continue as the front two. Kieran Trippier also returns after sitting out the mid-week match, while Vitolo makes up the midfield four – joining Thomas Partey, Saul Niguez
As for Real Madrid, Luka Modric is only fit enough for the bench following a thigh issue, while Marcelo and Ferland Mendy have both been ruled out, meaning that Nacho starts at left-back. Federico Valverde joins Casemiro and Toni Kroos in midfield, while Eden Hazard, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema all return to the front three having been left out of the clash with Osasuna on Wednesday night.
KICKOFF: Atletico kick things off on home soil...
... it must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium tonight. Can Atletico pick up a huge three points, or will Real Madrid strengthen their lead at the top of the table? As expected, the opening couple of minutes have been cagey here.
Lodi breaks into a dangerous position for the home side before delivering towards Felix, but Ramos manages to make the clearance. Simeone's side are the team looking to make things happen in the early exchanges, but it is still very, very early in the argument.
Some concern over Trippier here as the Atletico defender gingerly walks off the field after an awkward landing. However, the Englishman looks okay to continue.
Not too much from Real Madrid going forward in the first seven minutes of this match, and Ramos has just brought Felix to the ground with a heavy challenge that is not well received by the home fans or indeed Simeone. This one is already heating up here!
CLOSE! Half-chance for Atletico as Felix breaks into the box before looking to pick out the bottom corner, but the ball moves wide of the far post.
Trippier is fortunate to escape a booking for bringing Hazard to the ground after the Belgium international had broken clear. Ramos is fuming with the referee here.
SHOT! Bale misses the Atletico goal from distance - not a bad strike.
Better from the away side in the last couple of minutes as they start to enjoy space in the final third - both Bale and Hazard are finding good areas in the wide positions. The latter has just attempted to pick out Benzema, but Savic made the clearance.
Trippier is moving fine following that earlier knock, which is good news for Atletico. That said, Hazard has got the better off the Englishman on a couple of occasions here.
Just a reminder that Atletico's home record against Real Madrid in La Liga is actually really poor. It would be huge if Simeone's side could pick up all three points tonight.
It will be very, very interesting to see when the first yellow card arrives here because there have been some late challenges, therefore it will have to take something out of the ordinary for a card, according to the referee's standards thus far anyway!
CLOSE! Bale heads over the crossbar from a central position following a smart cross from Carvajal. The Welshman wants a corner but the referee says goal kick.
YELLOW CARD! Nacho (Real Madrid) picks up the first booking of the match for a poor challenge on Trippier, who had made good ground in a wide position. Had to happen!
Costa is the target as Koke looks to slide a dangerous pass into the Real Madrid box, but the away side clear their lines. Hazard is immediately on the break and dances past the challenge of Savic, although his cross id deflected behind for a corner kick.
Real Madrid again break clear, and Bale looks to deliver a dangerous cross towards Benzema, although Oblak is on hand to make a comfortable claim. Atletico look to break through Vitolo, but the move breaks down. End-to-end football at the moment here.
The home fans continue to make their voices heard as we approach the 30-minute mark. It would be fair to say that we are still waiting for an outstanding chance, but both teams have had some decent moments in the final third - it is very delicately poised here.
Trippier makes ground down the right for the home side before looking to deliver but again Ramos blocks. The resulting corner is delivered towards the middle of the box - Real Madrid again defend it well, though, and look to have survived this bit of pressure.
CHANCE! Huge chance for Atletico as Thomas delivers a brilliant cross towards Costa, but the centre-forward just cannot reach to make contact! What a chance!
Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining, and it must be said that this half of football has absolutely flown past. Both teams have had their moments, although a draw at this stage is just about right. Can either side score what would be a huge first goal?
Good spell of possession for Atletico in the last couple of minutes, but Real Madrid continue to stand strong in a defensive area. Ramos and Varane have been unmoved in the first 35 minutes of this match, but Nacho at left-back is on a yellow card here.
Atletico again break down the field through Saul, who carries the ball through the lines before releasing Lodi, but Ramos is again across to make a strong clearance.
SHOT! Oblak is on hand to keep out a long-range strike from Kroos.
CLOSE! Felix shows excellent feet in a tight position before looking to pick out the far corner, but the ball moves just wide of the post! Excellent work from the summer arrival.
A mix-up in a wide position sees Costa break clear for Atletico, but Real Madrid are fortunate as the ball bounces back off the striker and behind for a goal kick.
Koke is the one for Atletico who continues to find space in a forward area, but Real Madrid are putting the squeeze on their opponents at the vital moment. There has not been too much between the two sides here, and we are still goalless at the Wanda.
CHANCE! Big chance for Atletico again ad Trippier finds all sorts of space inside the Real Madrid box before delivering, but Courtois does really well to palm clear!
We are into the first and only added minute at the end of the first period.
HALF TIME: ATLETICO MADRID 0-0 REAL MADRID
So there we have it - the referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 0-0. It has been an ill-tempered affair with plenty of challenges, although it has lacked clear opportunities. A fierce capital derby remains level at the half-time break.
STATISTICS! Real Madrid shaded the first-half possession with 56%, while they managed seven shots - two of which were on target. Atletico had three attempts in the first half, meanwhile, and Courtois was certainly busy with crosses coming into his box. Just the one yellow card to report, though, and that came for Real Madrid's stand-in left-back Nacho in the 22nd minute.
BENCH WATCH! Lucas Vazquez, Luka Jovic, Luka Modric, Vinicius Junior and James Rodriguez are all on a very talented Real Madrid bench tonight. Meanwhile, Atletico have options in the shape of Angel Correa, Thomas Lemar and Marcos Llorente. There is no question that Zinedine Zidane has better attacking options available than Diego Simeone.
KICKOFF: Real Madrid resume the action at the Wanda Metropolitano...
ATLETICO SUB! Atletico have introduced Angel Correa in place of Vitolo, who struggled to make his mark in the opening 45 minutes of action.
You do get the feeling that one goal would be enough to win this match. Neither defence has given much away thus far, and it might be up to one of the forward players to make something special happen in the final third. Here's to an entertaining second half!
Little over 68,000 are inside the Wanda Metropolitano tonight - the vast majority of who will be hoping for a home goal in the second period. Real Madrid have started the second half on the front foot, though, with Bale and Hazard both dangerous out wide.
CHANCE! Big chance for Atletico as Costa delivers a brilliant cross onto the head of Correa, who can only send his effort over the crossbar! Should be 1-0 to the home side!
In all honesty, neither manager would be too disappointed if this finished goalless, and there it might well be a tight and cagey second period in the Spanish capital.
Real Madrid have been in control of the possession for the last couple of minutes, but Zidane's side are not threatening to take the lead. Neither are Atletico, though.
SHOT! Bale finds a little bit of space outside the Atletico box before striking towards goal, but the ball was always flying over the home side's crossbar. Still goalless.
You do wonder when Zidane might look to his bench as there are a number of brilliant attackers available to the Frenchman tonight. How fit is Modric? Does the Croatia international have 20 minutes in him? Vinicius is also another option for the visitors.
CHANCE! Big chance for the visitors this time as Nacho picks out Bale with a clever low pass, but the Wales international can only fire high and wide of the target.
There is some movement on the Atletico bench here.
ATLETICO SUB! Lemar enters the field in place of Lodi, which could mean that Saul goes to left-back for the home side. Still no movement on the Real Madrid bench.
Real Madrid have a free kick in a dangerous area as Kroos is fouled by Thomas in a dangerous position. Chance for Bale or Hazard to have a long-range shot here...
SHOT! Casemiro takes the free kick and it whistles over the crossbar.
Half-chance for Atletico as Trippier breaks down the right before delivering a cross towards Costa, but Ramos is on hand to make the clearance. Real Madrid look to break down the other end with Nacho, but once again the attack breaks down.
Little over 20 minutes of the second period remaining, and the score in the Spanish capital remains goalless. Something special might be needed to make the breakthrough.
REAL MADRID SUB! Modric enters the field in place of Valverde.
YELLOW CARD! Varane (Real Madrid) is booked for a poor challenge on Felix.
ATLETICO SUB! Marcos Llorente replaces Felix for the home side.
Real Madrid are staying top of the table as things stand, but a win for Atletico would see them rise to the summit. Huge 20 minutes of football coming up here.
Modric breaks into the Atletico box before firing a low attempt across the goal, but there are no takers. Saul then flicks a header over the crossbar down the other end.
Little over 15 minutes of the second period remaining, and James Rodriguez is preparing to enter the field for the away side. Can the Colombian inspire his team here?
SAVE! Wonderful save from Oblak to keep out a header from Benzema, who had met a brilliant cross from Nacho. Excellent work from the Atletico goalkeeper!
REAL MADRID SUB! James Rodriguez replaces Hazard for the away team.
You do get the feeling that something big is going to happen in the final 10 minutes of this football match - Simeone is very, very animated on the touchline at the moment.
Atletico want a penalty as Correa goes down inside the Real Madrid box under a charge from Ramos, but the referee is not interested. It would have been very soft.
CHANCE! Another big chance for Atletico as Trippier breaks down the right before delivering a low cross into the Real Madrid box, but Koke just cannot convert!
Real Madrid are preparing to make their final change of the match.
SHOT! Possession football for Real Madrid in the last couple of minutes, but their latest attack ends with Nacho firing harmlessly over the crossbar. Still goalless.
REAL MADRID SUB! Benzema replaces Jovic for the away side.
If there is to be a winner than it is going to have to come very late indeed. I should not imagine that there will be too much in the way of stoppage time here.
Courtois easily collects a header from Costa as we enter stoppage time.
We are into the second of three added minutes in the Spanish capital.
Real Madrid have a little spell of pressure through Modric and Bale, but the attack ends with Atletico clearing down the field. We are into the final seconds of this game.
YELLOW CARD! Thomas (Atletico) is booked for a rash challenge on James.
FULL TIME: ATLETICO MADRID 0-0 REAL MADRID
So there we have it - the referee brings the second period to a close with the two teams level at 0-0. Real Madrid stay first in the table - one point clear of third-placed Atletico. Thanks for joining Sports Mole
for our live action once again - I shall leave you with the match report
from tonight's all-Madrid affair. Until next time!