The first leg of the Champions League quarter-final between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid ended goalless on a tense night at Vicente Calderon.
Jan Oblak made a number of excellent saves to ensure the first half ended goalless with Madrid dominant, but the second half was a more even affair and featured all the usual controversy of El Derbi.
Oblak continued in goal despite Miguel Angel Moya’s presence on the bench while Fernando Torres joined the usual first-choice goalkeeper among the reserves. Pepe and Isco meanwhile missed out for the visitors, with Raphael Varane and James Rodriguez starting.
Madrid started on the front foot, Dani Cavajal and Gareth Bale forcing Oblak into action, while a Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick also had to be dealt with by the goalkeeper.
Atletico remained competitive but struggled to get going, unable to get in behind the Madrid defence thanks in large part to the pace of Varane.
Madrid controlled possession against Atletico’s deep defence but genuine chances were rare, largely limited to long-distance efforts, James’ from the edge of the area causing particular concern.
Antoine Griezmann called Iker Casillas into action after Sergio Ramos’ pass only found Gabi but the shot, on the turn, was comfortable for the Spain international.
Varane produced a great chance for Madrid as he led a break from a wasted Atletico corner, the ball eventually coming for James and stopped by Oblak’s out-stretched hand.
The half ended with an Antoine Griezmann header over the bar and the second began with an Arda Turan header dropping past Casillas’ post.
Mario Mandzukic had to leave the pitch after he was caught by Ramos when challenging a header, the striker bleeding profusely from above his eye. Mandzukic was insistent Ramos elbowed him, while Ramos was passive.
Mandzukic was involved in another altercation when Carvajal, having had about as much as he could take of the Croatian’s arm across his face, appeared to throw a punch into Mandzukic’s midriff.
Chances in the second half were sporadic, the game stretched but defences on top with blocks and interceptions. Mandzukic and various members of the Madrid side were more interested in continuing their running battle.
Arda Turan almost produced something special and Diego Godin sent an effort over the bar as Atletico ended on the front foot.
Luka Modric hit a half-volley over the bar after Atletico failed to clear a corner and at the other end, Ramos stopped a Fernando Torres run – fairly said the referee, to Torres’ dismay.
There were blocks and scrambles in the Madrid goalmouth as the tie came to a conclusion, the result perhaps better for Atletico than Madrid.
Atletico 0-0 Madrid
Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Siqueira; Gabi, Mario, Koke (Torres 83), Arda Turan; Griezmann (Raul Garcia 77), Mandzukic
Subs: Moya, Gamez, Gimenez, Tiago, Raul Garcia, Saul, Torres
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal (Arbeloa 85), Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric, James; Bale, Benzema (Isco 75), Cristiano Ronaldo
Subs: Navas, Pepe, Arbeloa, Khedira, Illarra, Isco, Jese
Referee: Milorad Mazic [Serbia]