4 Things We Learned From Sunday’s Entertaining & Hard-Fought Madrid Derby Stalemate

Real Madrid were left frustrated after they were held to a 1-1 by Atletico Madrid in a sun-smothered Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday afternoon. 

Goals from headline acts Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann shared the spoils on an afternoon where Barcelona were the only winners. 

The stalemate both proposed many questions and gave us several talking points, so, following the highly anticipated showdown, here are four things we learned…

1. The Title Race is Run

Barcelona’s nine-point advantage ahead of this weekend’s round of fixtures meant most had already accepted the fact the LaLiga title was heading to the Camp Nou this season. 

However, with their only rival in the championship race; Atletico Madrid, dropping points as Barca secured a 3-1 win over Leganes, the Catalonians now need just 10 points from their 21 on offer to wrap things up. 

2. Karim Benzema Must be Replaced

On the hour-mark, Cristiano Ronaldo was surprisingly substituted, with Karim Benzema taking his place. 

The Frenchman was afforded the final 30 minutes during what had been a somewhat open affair; however, not for the first time this season, or indeed the tenth, the striker posed little to no threat to the opposition. 

Although Zinedine Zidane and Florentino Perez are both said to be fond of the 30-year-old workhorse, a more influential figure must be acquired this summer, or a similarly disappointing domestic campaign could be in store for Real Madrid next year.

3. Gareth Bale Needs More Game Time

Zidane has been wary of overusing Gareth Bale this season, which is understandable given his injury troubles. However, the Welshman provided yet another crucial contribution to Los Blancos’ performance, delivering a pinpoint cross into the path of Ronaldo before the Portugal international buried his 650th career goal. 

If speculation is to be believed, the 28-year-old is closing in on his Estadio Santiago Bernabeu curtain call. However, given the performances of the former Tottenham Hotspur man compared to others in Los Blancos’ ranks this term, everything that can be done should be to retain their record signing. 

4. Atleti’s Summer Business Could be Most Crucial Yet

Antione Griezmann is one of several stars currently attached to Atletico Madrid who has been touted with a move away this summer, including boss Diego Simeone. 

The 1-1 draw with Real Madrid on Sunday, however, proved how efficient Atleti can be with their current small, but effective group. 

Although, with the likelihood being that those numbers will diminish in the upcoming transfer window, if business is not conducted correctly, Sunday may well be the last time for a while where those from the Wanda Metropolitano leave the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu with a smile on their face.