Atlético Madrid salvaged a draw at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu on Sunday night as Marcos Llorente stunned the Real Madrid support with an equalizer in the 93rd minute to secure a 1-1 tie.
The goal meant that the two teams shared a point apiece in the fourth Madrid derby of the campaign, following Atleti’s win in LALIGA in September, Real Madrid’s extra-time victory in the Spanish Super Cup in January and the Rojiblancos’ extra-time win only a week later in the Copa del Rey.
This time, Brahim Díaz had given the home team the lead on 20 minutes as Atlético failed to clear their lines, and the attacker duly finished. Brahim was Real Madrid’s star player despite initially not being on the team-sheet, replacing Vinícius Júnior after the Brazilian picked up an injury in the warm-up. Initially, Real Madrid announced that it would be Joselu to replace Vinícius, but a last minute change of heart from coach Carlo Ancelotti saw Brahim given the nod.
Atlético were on the back foot for much of the tie, with coach Diego Simeone admitting, “for me it was a strange game, they were better than us.” However, Llorente’s late header meant that his team took a point away to mark a memorable night for the Colchoneros.
Griezmann’s landmark appearance
The night was a special one for Antoine Griezmann for more reasons than just the late drama. The Atlético Madrid hero, as he made his 521st appearance in LALIGA, overtaking Lionel Messi to become the foreign player with the most appearances in the competition.
Of those, 39 came in the second tier, now known as LALIGA Hypermotion, in his debut season while with Real Sociedad. He would eventually make a total of 180 appearances in the competition across the top two tiers for La Real, scoring 44 goals.
Following that, he moved to Atlético, though he would move away to make 74 LALIGA appearances for Barcelona between 2019 and 2021, scoring 22 goals. For Atlético, his numbers now sit at 267 appearances and 123 goals.
“I love Spain very much, I feel at home here in Spain; in San Sebastián, in Madrid, in Barcelona,” the Frenchman explains. “I owe the country a lot, they opened their arms to me, provided me with my education. The most important part of my education has been Spanish. My wife is Spanish too, so I feel very happy and proud to be here.”
The Atlético number seven took on Real Madrid for a 28th time in LALIGA on Sunday night, and has curiously never missed a domestic league game against the current leaders of the competition. He has scored in eight of those games, six for Atlético and two for Real Sociedad, since taking on the giants for the first time with the Basque team in 2010.
“He represents the history of our club and we have to take care of that,” Simeone said after Griezmann overtook Luis Aragonés’ record as Atlético’s all-time top goalscorer last month. Now on 175 goals in all competitions, the Frenchman is still keen to add to his tally before his existing contract comes to an end in 2026.
First appeared on www.forbes.com