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Atletico Madrid defeat Real Madrid 2-0 on Fernando Torres' return

Atletico Madrid defeat Real Madrid on Fernando Torres' return
By Eurosport

07/01/2015 at 22:26Updated 07/01/2015 at 23:42

Copa Del Rey round of 16 first leg, Vicente Calderon - Atletico Madrid 2 (Garcia pen 58, Gimenez 76)

Fernando Torres’ first game back at Atletico Madrid ended in victory, with goals from Raul Garcia and Jose Gimenez securing a 2-0 Copa Del Rey win over rivals Real Madrid.

Having completed his return to the Vicente Calderon from Chelsea, via a loan move from AC Milan, Torres was handed a place in the starting line-up by Diego Simeone, with seven changes made to the team that beat Levante on Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed out for Real Madrid, only making the bench as he struggled with a minor knee injury, with Keylor Navas given the nod in goal as Carlo Ancelotti fielded a strong selection.

And Real came close to taking the lead within the opening two minutes, when Jan Oblak was required to make a close range save from Sergio Ramos to deny the defender from finding the net with a powerful header.

Atletico grew into the game after a strong start by the visitors but had to wait until the second half for the breakthrough, with Ramos conceding a penalty for hauling Garcia to the ground inside the area. The forward brushed himself off and converted from 12 yards, despite Navas diving the right way.

Ronaldo was introduced as Real Madrid chased the game, but Atletico soon gave themselves a 2-0 lead to take into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu. Gimenez climbed highest from a corner kick to head into the far corner with a well-directed effort, giving Navas no chance.

Atletico Madrid's Jose Maria Gimenez (L) celebrates his goal against Real Madrid (Reuters)

Atletico Madrid's Jose Maria Gimenez (L) celebrates his goal against Real Madrid (Reuters)Reuters

KEY EVENTS

2’ - RAMOS CHANCE: The first chance of the game falls to Real Madrid! Ramos rises highest in the box to meet a James corner kick, but Oblak makes the stop to deny the centre-back. There was some power in that header!

16’ - ATLETICO COUNTER: And now Atletico Madrid come surging down the other end of the pitch on the counter attack, with Griezmann and Garcia combining, but the former's shot is saved at the near post by Navas.

22’ - VARANE TACKLE: Big chance for Griezmann, but what a challenge from Varane! The French defender makes a great tackle on his international teammate just as he was about to pull the trigger.

53’ - BALE SHOT: That wasn't too far away at all! Marcelo plays a diagonal ball to Bale, who takes the pass first time on the volley with his right foot, but his effort drifts just wide of the far post. Very close to finding the bottom corner.

58’ - GOAL! Atletico Madrid 1 Real Madrid 0. Garcia wins the spot kick and steps up to take it, putting his penalty confidently past Navas, who guessed the right way.

76’ - GOAL! Atletico Madrid 2 Real Madrid 0. Ronaldo lines up the freekick from a tight angle, but actually shoots to the right of the wall, surprising everyone including his own teammates. The ball drifts right through the box and out of play.

KEY STATS

Atletico have scored at least one header in six of their last 10 derbies against Real Madrid in all competitions.

Sergio Ramos completed 48 passes in the first half, at least 31 more than any Atletico Madrid player (Gabi Fernandez, 17).

Fernando Torres has scored just one goal in 10 derby games against Real Madrid.

TALKING POINT

Can Fernando Torres save his career at Atletico Madrid? So eager were the Vicente Calderon crowd to see the returning prodigal son mark his first game back with a goal, they were even greeting offside calls against him with an ‘ooooh’ usually reserved for a close shot or missed chance. Torres displayed plenty of energy in his first game back at Atletico, but there was very little end product to his play. But with time will the striker rediscover his former genius at the club where it all started for him?

Atletico Madrid's Fernando Torres (C) reacts as Real Madrid's Marcelo lies on the pitch

Atletico Madrid's Fernando Torres (C) reacts as Real Madrid's Marcelo lies on the pitchReuters

MAN OF THE MATCH

Antoine Griezmann (Atletico): The Frenchman came into the Copa clash against Real Madrid with nine goals in his last seven games, and such confidence was in evidence in his performance, even if he didn’t find the net this time. Everything good Atletico did came through Griezmann, with his energetic pressing game central to Atletico pressing Real Madrid high up the pitch and into mistakes.

PLAYER RATINGS

Atletico Madrid: Oblak 7, Lucas 6, Godin 7, Gimenez 7, Gamez 6, Mario 6, Gabi 7, Saul 6, Garcia 7, Griezmann 8, Torres 6. Subs: Koke 6, Turan 5, Mandzukic 5.

Real Madrid: Navas 5, Marcelo 6, Ramos 5, Varane 7, Arbeloa 5, Kroos 6, Khedira 5, Isco 7, James 5, Bale 7, Benzema 6. Subs: Ronaldo 5, Jese 5, Carvajal.

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