In the second Madrid derby of the campaign, it was Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid who came away the victors at the Santiago Bernabeu as Antione Griezmann found the back of the net eight minutes into the second half while downing Real Madrid 0-1 in the process.
Madrid cannot make the most of their opportunities
Real Madrid though, did get things going and in only the first minute Cristiano Ronaldo fired a rebound wide and to the left of Jan Oblak‘s goal. Juanfran whipped in a dangerous delivery on ten minutes with Fernando Torres lurking near the top of the six yard box. Luckily for the hosts, Raphael Varane was alert enough to clear it out of play even if they did concede a corner.
Toni Kroos, off of a free kick, sent in a wonderful cross which met Varane’s head and the central defender flicked it just up and over the frame of the goal, never troubling Oblak. The first yellow card came in the 30th minute, with the referee issuing it to Diego Godin for stopping Karim Benzema from receiving a quick throw from Ronaldo in what could have possibly been a dangerous play for the hosts. On the ensuing free kick, Ronaldo sent a rocket of a ball that the young Atletico goalkeeper stopped well.
As Atletico Madrid started to find their way in this match, maintaining a little bit more possession than they had been throughout the entire first half, it was Koke who forced Kaylor Navas to dive to the ground to stop a shot from a very tight angle as halftime loomed.
In one of the more head-scratching subs of the match, Borja Mayoral came on as a halftime substitute for Benzema. Benzema had played well in the opening 45 minutes of the match, looked lively and created a few chances too, which means that the French international strike must have picked up a knock somewhere along the way a
Three minutes had eclipsed after the halftime interval and Cristiano Ronaldo got fed a beautiful ball in space inside the area, took one touch to line up his shot and fired the end product by the far post, missing it by only a couple of inches.
Atletico break the deadlock
Against the complete run of play, Atleti broke up the pitch on a counter. Antione Griezmann worked from the right side of the pitch closer to the left, opening up a bit of space before finding a streaking Felipe Luis who returned the ball immediately. The Frenchman took one look at goal before getting his bearings and finding the bottom left corner.
Ronaldo, per usual, was the outlet for Real’s attack in the match and in the 68th minute, he was free in the middle of the area and his ensuing header fell straight into the hands of young Oblak. With nearly 15 minutes remaining, Danilo and Gabi got their legs tangled in the area and while Los Blancos’ supporters were whistling for a penalty, the center referee was never going to give one.
Again, Cristiano rose above the Atletico defense, trying to get his head on a lofted cross into the box, but he did not get enough power behind the ball and hit it weakly in the end. Moments later in the 85th minute, Griezmann stole possession back inside his final third and unleashed a shot from the edge of the area that just soared over the top of the crossbar.
In one of the last chances of the evening, Madrid countered methodically up the pitch, playing a couple of short little passes to maintain possession and Jese found Danilo down the left as the Brazilian maneuvered his way past an Atletico defender only to watch his shot fly across the mouth of the goal.
However, Zinedine Zidane’s men could not find a way through and with this result, they dig themselves into an even bigger hole, essentially putting themselves out of the running for the league title.