Real Madrid turned winners in a hotly-contested affair with neighbours Atletico Madrid in a derby match. The match ended with none of the sides opening their account in normal play. It finally came down to penalties which Real Madrid won 4-1 with ease.
It would all have been different if Real Madrid’s Fede Valverde hadn’t done what he did. At the 114th minute, Real had a corner which was cleared by Atletico. The clearance found Real’s Dani Carvajal, who managed to fluff a pass back to their rivals. The ball was then passed to Atletico's Alvaro Morata who took the ball and went running away from the Real Madrid defenders.
The defenders were failing to keep up with Morata. Fede Valverde too was in the pack chasing the Atletico attacker. The goal was a sure thing for Morata as there was nothing the Real defenders could do about it. But Fede had different plans. He went into a last-ditch challenge to stop Morata and fouled him just a few yards away from the penalty zone. Fede was deservedly given a red card for his tackle, but he managed to stop Atletico from scoring at such a crucial moment.
Valverde’s ‘red-card heroics’ earned Real Madrid the victory as they managed to hold on to the 0-0 scoreline and won the game on penalties.
This play by Valverde was praised a lot on Twitter as he sacrificed himself for the club.
After the match, Atletico Madrid manager, DiegoSimeone, was asked by a reporter about what did he say to Valverde after he was sent off. Simeone replied, “I told him not to worry, I told him that anyone would've done the same in that situation. I would've done the same. The MVP of this game was Fede Valverde because he won the game for Real Madrid."
Fede Valverde was named man of the match for his crucial role in handing Real Madrid the trophy.