Real Madrid overcame rivals Atletico Madrid 2-1 at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday to maintain their unblemished record at the start of the season.
Atletico pushed a high line, pressed Real for the ball, and played with intensity throughout the first half.
Real were ahead against the run of play thanks to an unbelievable piece of interaction between Rodrygo and Aurélien Tchouaméni, whose perfectly-weighted lobbed pass tore through Atletico’s defensive line for the Brazilian to score with an outside-of-the-boot half volley.
What happened next overshadowed all else on the day, as Rodrygo and his compatriot Vinicius Jr ran to the corner flag and danced in front of the Atleti crowd.
Despite all the action on the pitch, the game and week’s buildup will be marred by the racial abuse faced by Vinicius.
Fans, not just a select few but well over a ton, outside the Wanda Metropolitano were filmed chanting “You are a monkey. Vinicius is a monkey” before kick-off by COPE.
Vinicius, one of Real Madrid’s most potent attacking threats in recent years, has enjoyed a strong start to the season.
He dominated the buildup to the match for all the wrong reasons, as the Brazilian’s dance goal celebrations had caused much controversy.
The 22-year-old took to social media to condemn football agent Pedro Bravoa’s racially provocative comments as a guest on a Spanish talk programme.
The Brazilian has been accused of being intentionally provocative and disrespectful of his opponents through his samba-like dance moves, but he categorically denied those claims and openly revealed that he believes he is held to a different standard of scrutiny because of his race, and that the underlying racism is the basis for the criticism.
Vinicius was also substantially involved in the second goal, darting in from the left flank and hitting the post before Federico Valverde tapped home to give Real a 2-0 halftime lead.
Much of the second half was cagey, and while defender Mario Hermoso got one back late in the game, the Spaniard was eventually sent off, and Real won the game.
There was plenty of action on the pitch to discuss, including a superb display by Tchouaméni, who is proving with every small step he takes why Real Madrid spent upwards of 80 million euros on him and let Casemiro go. However, racist remarks and incidents will undoubtedly make news.