–The Madrid Derby!
In recent years, I guess it would be safe to say that it has become more of a Clasico, than a Derby, due to Atletico’s recent more competitive ways! or as The Ultras use to say in their banners at Fondo Sur “se busca rival digno para el Derby”. Well, we have one now.
-A wonderful Sunday for soccer! and what better place to live it than with the baddest soccer supporters group in the business! Real Madrid Los Angeles!!! a packed house at Tom’s Urban LA Live with over 200 Madridistas cheering on the Kings of Europe.
-Los Angeles rumbled, as our Madridistas danced, sang,and cheered to the beat of our drummer, socio, Luis Angel “el Chapin” Godoy who provided an awesome percussion display as usual!
-What’s new at RMLA??? for the first time we awarded the OPM of the month award, and our first lucky winner was Dolly Romero Dubon, whom was selected by our OPM of the month committee. Congratulations Dolly, and thank you for your outstanding support and loyalty to the our group, and our beloved club.
-We also want to give a warm welcome to all our newly signed OPM’s! bienvenidos al mejor grupo de seguidores de futbol en CA!
Like all Derbys from the past 3 years, this one did not disappoint! it was full of action, yellow cards, penalties, and amazing individual displays by players from both sides.
Still plagued with injuries, Los Blancos took the field at the Calderon for this much anticipated match with key absences in the likes of James, Danilo,and Pepe. Rafa Benitez was happy to see Sergio Ramos back in the line up, as well as Gareth Bale who came on during the second half of action.
The game was intense from the get go! with offensive displays by both sides during an even match till minute 9, when Karim Benzema received a jewel of a pass from Dani Carvajal whom crossed a beauty for Benzema to head it in for the first goal of the match!
Unfortunately for Carbajal, he left the pitch with an injury, which left our defense on a bad predicament as Alvaro Arbeloa came on.
All was well, and RMLA members were static till: minute 21….
PENALTY TO ATLETICO MADRID! Fernando Torres dashes ahead through the middle but just allows his touch to let him down on the edge of the box. Sergio Ramos collects but a similarly poor touch allows Tiago to get in ahead, forcing the defender to commit the foul inside the box which in the refs eyes was a foul! in my eyes it was a well executed dive!!!!!! regardless it was a horrible defensive effort by Ramos, and we had caught a break with Niño Torres’s inability to score on a gorgeous pass he received, unfortunately his teammate did a much better job at selling a penalty.
With the anxiety of 200 + Madridistas at Tom’s, and the millions around the world! we watched cautiously as Atletico forward Griezmann set up to take the kick. Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas stopped a poorley executed penalty which drove our socios nuts! and started the “Keylor! Keylor Keylor!” chants, a superb effort indeed by a fantastic keeper, whom at least for now is doing a magnificent job at feeling in some big shoes left by Real Madrid legend, Iker Casillas. Keylor actually had several other saves as the Colchoneros beat us on shots on goal attempts, 18 to 9!!! Thank God for Navas, with a phenomenal performance today.
The worlds best player, Cristiano Ronaldo was a non factor in this game, and other players did not show up as well, causing Benitez to shuffle his cards during 2nd half action.
Casemiro had an amazing game on midfield, both on offense and defense, drawing some fouls by the Colchoneros who desperately tried to stop him. Atletico always plays us tough! 19 fouls, and 6 yellows to back that claim up.
Rafa Benitez would have heard some displeasure from el Madridismo well before kickoff of his first Madrid derby as Real’s head coach. His sometimes erroneous moves, and conservative playing ways aren’t too popular with Madridistas. This game was no different. We return home with a tough draw which came as a result of a horrible defensive effort by Arbeloa whom came in as a sub during the second half. He was beat BADLY by Jackson Martinez, who crossed a difficult ball so that Atletico’s forward Vietto could score in the minute 83! a move that cost Benitez and the team 3 points. Arbeloa has never been one of my favorites! in or out of the pitch, he is wasting a valuable spot on the roster which could be occupied by a competent player, and not one as mediocre as Arbeloa.
In Conclusion, we missed out on being the absolute leaders of La Liga, we failed to capitalize on Barca’s failures, which amount to back to back loses! and we blew the Derby at the Calderon. We shall see how long Benitez lasts as Madrid’s Mister! with results like this one, he could easily be shown the door sooner rather than later…. with that being said, and with my lack of affection for Arbeloa “el tronco mayor”, till next time… signing off, yours truly,