Atletico Madrid have dealt yet another blow to neighbours Real Madrid, as they defeated their rivals 2-1 at the Bernabeu.
Simeone’s side have recorded back to back wins in La Liga for the very first time, thanks to goals from Tiago and Arda Turan.
Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the starting XI after missing his side’s defeat to Real Sociedad, and the added benefit of having the winger in the side was evident, as he found the back of the net.
But yet again, Madrid defensive deficiencies were exposed, and but for a small period in the first half, toothless in attack.
Atletico Madrid’s prowess from set pieces has been well documented. It was the source of both their goals two weeks ago, and having played already played each other six times this calendar year, Madrid should have been more than aware of this, yet just 10 minutes in, Atletico took the lead at the Bernabeu through a corner.
Amongst the statuesque figures of Diego Godin, Miranda and Mario Mandzukic in the penalty area was Tiago, who seemingly unmarked put his head on the end of Koke’s in swinging corner.
Madrid did not dwell however, and went in search of an instant equaliser. Moya needed a strong left hand to keep out a swerving free kick from Gareth Bale. The Welshman’s miss proved irrelevant, as minutes later, the home side levelled.
Full-back Siqueira, bamboozled by the dazzling feet of Cristiano Ronaldo, brought the Portuguese down inside the area. Ronaldo picked himself up and scored from the spot, sending Moya the wrong way.
Benzema was gifted a trio of opportunities to put Los Blancos in front before the break. The first he ruined with a poor first touch after good work by Ronaldo, and the second was hit wide after ghosting past two defenders. Third, again attribute to the creative powers of Ronaldo saw the Frenchman’s close-range header stopped by Moya.
As fatigue set in, the match need an injection of fresh impetus. On came Isco and Javier Hernandez for his Real Madrid debut, while Arda Turan and Antoine Griezmann also entered the fray. The changes clearly had an effect for the away side,
In a rare foray forward, substitutes Griezmann and Turan combined, with the latter curling a shot inches wide of Casillas’ goal.
However, the Turkish international made up for his earlier miss minutes later with a goal, rounding off a well worked Atletico move. Juanfran delivered a low, driven cross which was dummied to by Raul Garcia and fell to the feet of Turan, who arced the ball low into the corner of the Madrid goal with a beautifully placed shot.
Griezmann had a chance to kill the game off in the 90th minute as he broke free from the attentions of Pepe, but the Frenchman could only hit the side-netting. But it didn’t matter, as Atletico secured the points necessary to take them to second, and get one over on their rivals.
As for Real Madrid, they have suffered a successive La Liga defeat after losing 4 – 2 Real Sociedad two weeks ago. Already six points away from leaders Barcelona, Real will need to find some for soon if they are to claw their way back into the title race.
Goals: Tiago, Ronaldo, Turan
Bookings: James Rodriguez, Godin, Siqueira, Mandzukic, Gabi, Arbeloa, Modric
Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa (Varane), Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao; Kroos, Modric; Bale (Isco), James, Ronaldo; Benzema (Hernandez).
Atletico Madrid: Moya; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Siqueira; Raul Garcia, Gabi (Turan), Tiago, Koke; Jimenez (Griezmann), Mandzukic (Mario Suarez).