Real Madrid 0-1 Atletico Madrid: Antoine Griezmann nets fine winner
By Pete Hall
Last Updated: 27/02/16 10:55pm
Atletico Madrid became the first team in La Liga history to win three games in a row at the Bernabeu after a 1-0 victory over rivals Real in the Madrid derby.
After an uneventful first half, Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring early in the second half following a fine, flowing counter-attack.
Cristiano Ronaldo should have equalised in the 69th minute but headed straight at Jan Oblak in the Atletico goal when unmarked.
Zinedine Zidane's men threw everything at their city rivals, but once again Europe's joint-most resolute defence stood firm.
The result sees Atletico close the gap on leaders Barcelona to five points, but Real's title aspirations are in tatters - they are nine points adrift of Barca, having played a game more.
The first half was a timid affair with neither side able to create any real openings of note as Atleti played with plenty of men behind the ball to stifle Real.
Ronaldo saw a powerful free-kick well saved by Oblak, before Karim Benzema dragged wide on his return to the side.
Griezmann came closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes though, his superb strike from distance being brilliantly tipped over by Keylor Navas.
After the break, Benzema did not return, and the action intensified. A rare Diego Godin mistake let Ronaldo in two minutes into the second half, but he missed the target from a good position.
And on 53 minutes, Atletico's talisman Griezmann made Ronaldo pay for that miss, starting and finishing the move that resulted in the match-winning goal.
With Real pushing forward, the France international had space to carry the ball forward and play in the overlapping Filipe Luis, who returned the ball for Griezmann to net his 13th league goal of the season.
Anti-Florentino Perez chants rang around the Bernabeu as fans were frustrated by Real's lack of potency.
Benzema's replacement, 18-year-old Borja Mayoral, looked lively, but with Godin and Jose Maria Gimenez practically impenetrable at the heart of the Atleti defence, Oblak actually had little to do.
The only lapse in the latter stages allowed Ronaldo to be picked out in space, but he powered a header straight down the throat of Oblak.
The Portuguese player had another header saved by Oblak in the final few minutes, although that time it was much more difficult for him to generate the necessary direction.
Atleti held on to once again enjoy league success on their arch-rivals' own turf. Diego Simeone's men are now the clear challengers to Barcelona, as Real are cut adrift in third, with the Champions League seemingly their focus now.