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Historic Madrid Derby win caps first half of Atlético Femenino’s season

Driven by some exciting new talents, Atlético Femenino continue to hover around the top of the league and made progress in continental competition.

Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad - Primera Iberdrola Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid claimed the first ever proper Madrid derby in women’s football after their 1-0 win against Real Madrid in the penultimate league fixture of this year.

The Rojiblancas took the spoils in a hard-fought game at Valdebebas on Dec. 19 to revive their slim title hopes — they are in third place as they trail by one point to neighbours Real and three to Barcelona.

Nonetheless, the Catalan side have three games in hand and potentially, they could extend their lead to 12 points after they play out their missing games.

Real Madrid v Atletico de Madrid - Primera Division Femenina Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

It may not have been the ideal start to the new campaign for Atlético Femenino, but the derby win should have at least made amendments for some of the early slips in the 2020/2021 campaign. Merel Van Dongen was the hero, the Dutch defender who swapped Real Betis for Atlético prior to this season. Her fifth-minute goal was the game’s only strike.

Interestingly, a player who made the move in reverse was Ángela Sosa, the highly-esteemed winger who parted ways with Atlético earlier this year after being one of the club’s top performers in recent seasons. The Seville native played a key role on Atlético’s league title winners in 2017 and 2018.

Meanwhile, the Rojiblancas followed up the victory over their city rivals with another hard-fought win, this time a 3-2 triumph against a much-improved Real Sociedad side. The goals came from Ludmila Silva and Venezuela star Deyna Castellanos, whose brace took her up to seven goals in 13 games in all competitions.

Atlético’s other league wins came against Espanyol (2-0), Santa Teresa (2-0), Logroño (2-0), Eibar (1-0), Real Betis (4-1) and Deportivo (8-1). Barcelona emerged 3-0 winners and Madrid CFF grabbed a 1-0 home win to hand Atleti its two defeats so far

Atlético let slip a few points on other occasions as well, including in the home draws against Tenerife (1-1) and Huelva (0-0), and against former league champions Athletic Club in a thrilling 3-3 stalemate.

Servette dispatched

Elsewhere, Atlético have advanced once more to the last 16 of the UEFA Women’s Champions League after eliminating Switzerland’s Servette 9-2 on aggregate.

Atletico will discover their next opponent on Feb. 16, when UEFA will hold the draws for the next round.

In the first leg against the Swiss champions, Atlético had to sweat more than expected — the rojiblancas were behind until the 47th minute. At the restart though, they came out all guns blazing and goals from Ludmila, Castellanos and Emelyne Laurent wrapped up the Spanish side’s win, and virtually qualification as well.

Atletico Madrid v Servette Football Club Chenois Feminin - UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 32
Leicy Santos in action against Servette.
Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Servette were no match for Atlético in the second leg as Dani González’s side ran out 5-0 winners with Leicy Santos and an Amandine Soulard’s own goal in the first half ensuring the win.

After the break, Aissatou Tounkara, Toni Duggan and captain Amanda Sampedro completed the scoring.

Coincidentally, Soulard caused a Servette own goal in the first leg as well.

Torrecilla’s biggest battle

Atlético midfielder Virginia Torrecilla performed the honorary kick-off in a Copa del Rey match between Atlético’s men’s team and Cardassar on Dec. 16.

Torrecilla is still recovering from a delicate surgical procedure — one to remove a brain tumour in May. She has recently also taken part in the second edition of the Spanish Association Against Cancer’s Congress of People and Relatives with Cancer.