Some recent trends don’t seem to change. Aston Villa once again won at Anfield against Liverpool thanks to a Gabriel Agbonlahor goal in the first half, while Atletico Madrid continued their excellent streak of success against Real Madrid, coming through in the second half with a victory goal from Arda Turan.
Brendan Rodgers continues to make the same mistake time after time, which is starting with just one striker. Even against a counter attacking side like Aston Villa, with the ability to make Liverpool’s diamond formation redundant, playing with just one forward, which happened to be Mario Balotelli for most of the match and later on Rickie Lambert (alone), is a recipe for failure.
The one goal from Villa came in the 9th minute. Mamadou Sakho made a huge mistake to concede a corner and Dejan Lovren handled the set piece terrible, leading to a scramble which made it easy for Agbonlahor to score the winner. It was weird to see Philippe Senderos avoid a red card after a brutal performance from the Swiss centre back, who literally beat on Balotelli in order to take him out of the match.
For the second straight season, Atletico Madrid come away with a win at the Santiago Bernabeu. After over a decade of failing to achieve a win against their city rivals, this is almost like a golden age for them in the derby, beating their big rivals twice in the span of just six weeks.
Atletico Madrid took their usual approach of minimal attacking and minimal allowed space for the opposing team. Real Madrid took 21 shots at goal, but only four of them went on target in what was mostly a slow day for Miguel Moya.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal for Real Madrid from the penalty spot in the 26th minute; Tiago opened the scoring in the 10th minute while Arda Turan finished the job in the second half, handing Real Madrid their second consecutive defeat.