This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
The first big derby of the new 2019/20 La Liga season came and went in underwhelming fashion.
Real Madrid travelled across town to meet their city rivals, Atletico Madrid, at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium and despite a big build-up and expectations being high, as they usually are for Madrid derbies, we got served a goalless draw on the night.
And even though Zinedine Zidane will be happy to avoid defeat in such a tough away game and even happier to get a clean sheet, a couple of goals were still missing to spice the whole game up.
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Nevertheless, we did see a couple of great performances on the night and one in particular, from the Galacticos’ camp, that definitely caught many by surprise.
Nacho was the name chosen to deputise for both Marcelo’s and Ferland Mendy’s absences from the squad list and even before he set foot on the pitch, the 29-year-old was simply crucified by many of the fans at the start of last week.
Many of them dreaded the sheer thought of slotting the Spaniard into that left-back position but as well as helping Los Blancos keep a clean sheet against Osasuna, he ended up being one of Real Madrid’s top performers against the Mattress Makers.
Nacho was brilliant going both ways, assisting the attack with great passes and also keeping the defence pretty much rock solid. He recorded team-highest three shots, even edging out the likes of Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard in that one, and also two key passes, just one behind Toni Kroos’ three.
But his defensive display should also be highlighted. Nacho tallied two tackles, two interceptions and two clearances on the night, making sure Real Madrid put their third consecutive clean sheet together.
For all their struggles to keep the opposition away from their goal, they now seem to be thriving in that area, completely shutting them down to the extent that they reduced Atletico Madrid to only one single shot on target throughout the whole 90 minutes of play at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Once Marcelo and Mendy get back to full fitness, it’s unlikely that Nacho actually retains his spot but this performance silenced his critics amongst the Real Madrid support and proved to Zidane that in case of emergency, the 29-year-old can do a good job.