Another Madrid derby ended in a draw, allowing Real Madrid to remain top and Atlético to remain a solitary point behind them.
“We did not have free chances and nor did they: neither of us had risked very much,” Jan Oblak said at the final whistle. This pretty much says it all.
Between them, these two sides had spent a whooping €600m in the summer transfers. But instead of producing an intense and entertaining match, they produced a game of few clear-cut opportunities that resulted in a goalless conclusion.
The last time these teams had met, it had finished 7-2 in Atlético’s favor in New Jersey.
There was very little contribution from the two biggest signings: João Félix and Eden Hazard.
Thomas Party was the game’s outstanding midfielder. Displaying a range of passing that was not always reciprocated by those around him, he sent a superb ball across the six-yard box which Costa couldn’t reach.
Kieran Trippier was another of the night’s most impressive performers, sought early and often by his team-mates.
Thomas teed up João Félix to shoot wide from the edge of the area and then his superb pass found Trippier in the area.
Options didn’t open up for the Englishman with the speed he hoped and Thibaut Courtois stopped his low ball reaching Koke.
Both sides made changes, albeit without running excessive risks. Lemar, Modrić, Llorente, and James were introduced but it had little effect on the direction of the game, something both teams seemed to accept and embrace as time ticked away.
The closest anyone came was Benzema, whose header from Nacho’s cross found Oblak diving full length to make a sharp save.
“We were not going to go mad, throwing everything forward,” Courtois said.
Zidane was not unjust in saying: “We did not allow a single chance.”