Llorente scored the late goal in a game in which Vinicius did not play

Brahim revolutionises the derby and Atletico take a point in the 93rd minute

Brahim Diaz del Real Madrid celebra un gol durante el partido de La Liga 2023/24 entre el Real Madrid y el Atlético de Madrid en el Estadio Santiago Bernabéu en Madrid, España, el 4 de febrero – PHOTO/Guillermo Martínez/NurPhoto/NurPhoto via AFP
Real Madrid's Brahim Diaz celebrates a goal during the La Liga 2023/24 match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain, on February 4 - PHOTO/Guillermo Martinez/NurPhoto/NurPhoto via AFP

Real Madrid don't know how to play to keep a goal and retreat. It's not in their DNA. The team that won the Champions League on the back of impossible comebacks could not spend 20 minutes against Atlético de Madrid with a 1-0 lead. Ancelotti's Italian streak comes out from time to time and causes serious damage, although the derby was no drama either.   

It was a decaffeinated derby because it came after a Super Cup semi-final and a Copa del Rey match where both teams left everything they had. Los Blancos continue to add casualties and Rüdiger was the last to go down. Carvajal moved to the centre of defence alongside Nacho and Lucas Vázquez and Mendy on the wings. A defence of circumstance with which Ancelotti showed the club that he has nothing else on the bench.

The problem with that defence is that Real Madrid Castilla have a central defender who could play in these games just like Álvaro Rodríguez did last year. Canary Islander Raúl Asencio is what Ancelotti needs in the centre of defence, but he is involved in an alleged case of disclosing a sex tape. Against Alavés, in the last game of 2023, Ancelotti wanted to count on the player, but media pressure forced him to withdraw. He continues to play in the reserve team, but the enormous pressure on the first team means that the club prefers experiments such as Carvajal, rather than focusing on a youngster with a score to settle.   

Vinicius was Ancelotti's other problem. The Brazilian was injured during the warm-up and Brahim Díaz came on in his place. A wise decision by the coach who revolutionised the game and scored a goal by triangulating inside the red and white area and getting into the small area with the ball under control.   

El centrocampista español del Atlético de Madrid Marcos Llorente celebra con sus compañeros tras marcar el primer gol de su equipo durante el partido de fútbol de la Liga española entre el Real Madrid CF y el Club Atlético de Madrid en el estadio Santiago Bernabéu de Madrid el 4 de febrero de 2024 – PHOTO/Thomas COEX/AFP
Atletico Madrid's Spain midfielder Marcos Llorente celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the Spanish La Liga football match between Real Madrid CF and Club Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on February 4, 2024 - PHOTO/Thomas COEX/AFP

The Spanish-Moroccan player drove the Red and Whites' defence crazy with constant movement and combining with Bellingham and Lucas Vázquez. Two players who were given two very clear penalties that the referee did not see and the VAR did not want to enter. Where it did come into play was in Savic's goal. A header from a corner that didn't go in because there was an Atlético player offside and disturbing Lunin's exit.  

The Ukrainian goalkeeper has won the starting line-up over Kepa, who will probably be the one chosen for the Champions League. This is how the matchdays will pass until the coaching staff decides in April whether Courtois will be called into action or will be rested until the end of the season.  

Atlético could have done more damage to Real Madrid in view of the centre-backs Ancelotti had to field. Only in the 93rd minute did Carvajal and Nacho hesitate on an aerial ball and there came Llorente to make it 1-1 just before the referee blew the final whistle.   

The fourth derby of the season was all but over. Ten points difference and Simeone's team can only compete for the Copa del Rey and do well in the Champions League. Real Madrid's honeymoon with Europe is coming to an end as they wait to empty their infirmary.