Xabi Alonso: We were prepared for a tough match

Xabi Alonso: We were prepared for a tough match


Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso said Los Blancos are always prepared for a tough encounter when they visit the Vicente Calderon to play Atletico de Madrid.

The city rivals shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw on Sunday evening in a tense match in which tempers threatened to boil over at times. Karim Benzema gave Los Blancos the lead early on, but the hosts leveled through Koke and went ahead thanks to a great effort from Gabi. Cristiano Ronaldo equalised for the visitors with just five minutes left on the clock.

The match was niggly throughout, with penalty appeals turned down, and plenty of amateur theatrics on display too. Pepe and Godin both got themselves into the book with some comical antics in the first half while waiting for a corner to be taken.

Speaking to reporters after the match, Alonso said Real were prepared for a physical and tense encounter. The draw means Atletico haven’t beaten the nine-time European Cup winners in La Liga at home since 1999.

“We played more restrained but in the second half we were better. Getting the draw means we did better,” Alonso stated.

He added: “It was a rough, tough game with stoppages that went against us and our way of playing the game. There is nothing new in Vicente Calderon or any time you play Atletico. They’re sharp and intense.”