Published: Tue, October 02, 2018
Sport | By Matt Richards

Lopetegui demands reaction from his Real side in Madrid derby against Atletico

Lopetegui demands reaction from his Real side in Madrid derby against Atletico

"I see him being in fantastic form and for me, in the first half the other day (against Huesca), he was above everyone else, he played very well", Simeone said on Friday.

Real have won the competition the last three years and beat Roma 3-0 in their opening Group G game.

Real Madrid failed to capitalise on Barcelona's surprise 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao on Saturday as they were thwarted by two outstanding saves by Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak in an entertaining 0-0 derby draw in La Liga.

There is also Griezmann's recent spat with Real's Sergio Ramos to add another layer of intrigue.

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"We have not won because we didn't score but overall we have been very superior", Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui said. Lopetegui was asked if he felt his team had missed an opportunity in not taking advantage of Barcelona taking just two points from their last three games.

Simeone's side claimed a deserved point at the Santiago Bernabeu, but things could have been even better had they been given a first-half penalty for an apparent handball.

Gareth Bale did not suffer a new muscle injury in Real Madrid's 0-0 draw against Atletico Madrid on Saturday, according to reports in Spain, and could return for next weekend's trip to Alaves.

Real controlled the game with more possession although Atletico looked more unsafe going forward and had the two clearest chances of the first half.

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With a hard Champions League trip to play Tottenham in midweek, Valverde must again consider squad rotations, when Barca take on his former club, Athletic Club Bilbao on Saturday afternoon.

CSKA have scored in each of their last eight matches and that could be the key to unlocking some value for a Real Madrid win. "He has four games in 10 days and I think it's good for Leo to rest, like Busquets, thinking of the Champions League". Barca defender Jordi Alba, meanwhile, was fiercely critical of his side after they took two points from a possible nine. "We had chances through Griezmann and Costa but they were saved by Courtois".

"We are a team who are growing and its natural that we are exposed to criticism because of this profile, but we do not want to be compared to Madrid or Barcelona. Atletico are a great team with a fine collection of players".

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