Manager Zinedine Zidane was delighted with Real Madrid’s domination of Atletico Madrid as Los Blancos ended their derby rivals’ 26-game unbeaten streak with a 2-0 win in LaLiga on Saturday night.
Zidane said his side had been superior in all facets of the game in a victory at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium which took Real within three points of the competition leaders.
Casemiro headed Real in front from Toni Kroos’s corner after 15 minutes, and Dani Carvajal’s long-range effort bounced off a post and in off Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak in the second half.
The win followed Real’s midweek Champions League success, when they topped their group through a 2-0 win over Borussia Monchenglabach as elimination threatened.
“We played a very complete game again and in such a way, against a team that we know are very good, and who had 26 games without losing. I’m glad,” Zidane said after the derby win.
“We put on very good pressure. They weren’t comfortable on the field and also for the whole game,” the Frenchman said, adding his men had not relented in the second half against Atletico, “a team that can return to the game with chances”.
Zidane agreed Kroos, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema were all instrumental in the victory, but added Lucas Vazquez, Carvajal and indeed “everyone” had been “great”.
“We interpreted the spaces very well … and by playing with rhythm and using diagonals we found the gaps,” he said. “The (first) goal came from a corner, but then we had chances to score.”
“It has been a good week, but above all I am happy for the players because they are the ones who fight and are on the field.
“They always believe in what they do and in the end, when you get things, it’s very good. We must continue now, rest well. We are going to enjoy today, but we have a game on Tuesday.”
Rival manager Diego Simeone had some stern words for his side after their streak-ending loss, which also followed midweek qualification for the Champions League knock-out stage with a 2-0 win over RB Salzburg.
“We have to improve. The criticism is fair and justified, but there’s also what I’m saying,” Simeone said.
“We put in a big effort the other day (against Salzburg). There were nerves about going out of the Champions League. There was a lot of emotional baggage, which I’m not using as an excuse, but it exists.
“We played badly today. The coach didn’t have the clarity to see the game in the best way and the team didn’t do what was asked of them.”