Atletico Madrid may have failed to overturn the first-leg 3-0 defeat of the semifinal of the champions league, but at least they were honourable in defeat, by ensuring that their last derby match at the Calderon Stadium was not lost to their city rivals.
Simeone’s side had inflicted on Real Madrid their heaviest league defeat at the Calderon stadium in 2015 when they thrashed them in a stunning 4-0 home defeat.
Fans of Atletico were probably expecting to see such result reproduced again, at least to mark a befitting farewell to the stadium when they host Real in the second-leg of the semifinal of the champions league clash.
The situation seemed realizable when Niguez opened scoring in the 12th minute, and Griezmann scored the second in the 16th minutes. But it was Benzema’s brilliant performance that gave Isco Real’s only goal of the match, which eventually killed the momentum of the game.
Atletico Madrid moved into Calderon stadium in 1966, but will be leaving this summer for a state-of-the-art 76,000 capacity seat stadium on the eastern outskirts of the Spanish capital.
Despite Atletico not making it to the final of the champions league for the third time in four years, they at least ended their stay in Calderon stadium in pride, beating their neighbours by 2-1 even though it was disappointing one.
For many years, the Calderon stadium hosted Atletico home matches, including the one relegated in 2000 who struggled to emerge from their shadows of their illustrious neighbours.