Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid: In-focus - Who came out on top between Torres and Benzema?

Both players had a key role in tonight's clash so we take a closer look to see who did the job for their side

Alex Rea
by Alex Rea
10th May 2017

article:10th May 2017

Karim Benzema’s brilliance booked Real Madrid a place back in the UEFA Champions League final after the holders survived an early scare to see off city rivals Atletico 2-1 at the Vicente Calderon.

Early goals from Saul and Antoine Griezmann gave Diego Simeone’s men realistic hope of hauling back a 3-0 first-leg deficit before a goal from Isco late in the first half effectively ended the contest.


And it was Frenchman Benzema who shone brightest as Real ultimately cruised to a 4-2 aggregate win, setting up Isco’s effort and having a major impact on a much more consistent second-half showing from his side.

Here we take an in-depth look at two of the key protagonists.

Basic stats

Torres

Goals – 0

Shots – 1

Shots on target – 0

Touches – 19

Key passes – 1

Dribbles – 0

Dispossessed – 1

Aerials won – 1

Benzema

Goals – 0

Shots – 2

Shots on target – 0

Touches – 56

Key passes – 2

Dribbles – 7

Dispossessed – 3

Aerials won – 1

Effectiveness

Torres

Starting Torres raised a few eyebrows but to begin it looked like a brilliant decision from Diego Simeone.

The striker is much better pressing and defending from the front than Kevin Gameiro and in the opening stages, Real were penned back as a result of Atleti’s high press.

He was an outlet for Antoine Griezmann when the broke forward, too, and then of course, there was the penalty.

The 33-year-old used all of his experience to get his back to Raphael Varane, swivel to find a yard before the inevitable challenge came in.

But much like the hosts after Isco’s soul-sucking goal before half-time he faded into irrelevance.

 

Benzema

The Frenchman has his doubters – plenty of them – but then he has the ability to produce performances like he did tonight.

It wasn’t just his outrageous close control tight to the touchline in the build-up to Isco’s goal that impressed tonight, although it was sublime, it was overall contribution.

The confidence has been sapped from his this season but it seeped back in against Atletico and he looked like a man on a mission.

It’s a vicious cycle with the Real striker. Just when he seems to be at his nadir, he illustrates his quality and his effectiveness as one of the most complete forwards on the planet, then disappears for a few games before the process repeats.

Tonight, though, he was sharp, skillful and his overall effort immense.

Key moments

Torres

15th min: Yannick Carrasco slipped the ball down the inside right and Torres got the ball out of his feet and as he shaped up to shoot is rashly brought down by Raphael Varane with the referee pointing to the spot. Antoine Griezmann stepped and despite a poor penalty puts it away as Atletico go two up on the night.

45th min: Tempers flared between Torres and Cristiano Ronaldo just minutes after Isco sucked the life out of the Vicente Calderon with his goal. Torres is enraged but the advantageous scoreline meant Ronaldo simply smiled and shrugged.

Benzema

42nd min: Bamboozling Benzema. Surrounded by Stefan Savic, Diego Godin and Jose Giminez he slalomed out of an impossibly tight corner, slipped the ball along the byline and then composed himself to pull the back for the charging Toni Kroos who saw his low shot blocked by Jan Oblak with Isco pouncing to finish on the rebound.

73rd min: An in two moments, why Benzema is so frustrating. Marcelo from deep, whips in a beauty of a cross to the far post and Benzema finds a yard but his diving header whips the side netting when it should have been nestled in the back of the goal.

Our verdict

Torres

Bar winning the penalty a quiet night for the Spaniard. Lacked any real thrust and just couldn’t get into the game.

He was taken off in the 56th minute which just goes to show what Diego Simeone thought of his performance.

5/10

Benzema

His mesmerising feet in the build-up to Isco’s goal will go down in Champions League history. Genuinely, it was absurd that he managed to get out of such a tight spot.

It doesn’t alter the fact the Frenchman is having a poor season but it’s on night’s like this where you can really come to appreciate what he can offer.

8/10

Your verdict

All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com


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