Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid: Antoine Griezmann cancels out Cristiano Ronaldo's opener in derby
By Oliver Young-Myles
Last Updated: 08/04/18 8:46pm
Antoine Griezmann cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo’s opener to hand Atletico Madrid a 1-1 draw against city rivals Real Madrid and extend their unbeaten record at the Bernabeu to five games.
Ronaldo broke Atletico's resistance after 53 minutes by volleying beyond Jan Oblak after Gareth Bale had picked him out with a pinpoint cross from the left.
However, the lead lasted only four minutes as Griezmann struck back for the visitors, dispatching a finish confidently into the net from close range.
Sergio Ramos almost snatched a win in injury time but his free-kick was brilliantly clawed out by Oblak to ensure that the points were shared in a result which leaves La Liga leaders Barcelona 11 points clear of Atletico with seven games remaining. Real sit third, 15 points behind Barca.
Real Madrid: Navas (7), Carvajal (8), Ramos (6), Varane (6), Marcelo (8), Kroos (7), Kovacic (6), Vazquez (6), Asensio (6), Bale (7), Ronaldo (7)
Subs: Benzema (6), Isco (6), Modric (6)
Atletico Madrid: Oblak (7), Juanfran (6), Godin (7), Savic (6), Lucas (6), Thomas (7), Koke (7), Saul (7), Vitolo (6), Griezmann (7), Costa (6)
Subs: Correa (6), Gabi (6), Gameiro (N/A)
Man of the match: Marcelo
Real were convinced they should have had a penalty after 11 minutes when Toni Kroos went down inside the penalty area following a collision with Juanfran. However, the referee waved away the German playmaker's protests.
The home side had the first meaningful chance of the game just before the half-hour mark. A Kroos free-kick eventually dropped to Raphael Varane after a scramble but the Frenchman was denied by a sprawling stop by Oblak after he had charged from his goal to narrow the angle.
Moments later, Atletico had a great opportunity to score through Diego Costa. The former Chelsea forward was released clean through on goal by a deft flick from Koke but his low shot at the near post was brilliantly stopped by Keylor Navas.
On the stroke of half-time, Marcelo had the game's best moment when he cut in from the left and unleashed an unstoppable curling effort on his right-foot onto the stanchion of the goal. The ball cannoned off the woodwork into the path of Real's other full-back, Dani Carvajal, and he forced Oblak into a smart save with a well-hit volley.
Zinedine Zidane made four changes to his side with Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale, Mateo Kovacic and Lucas Vazquez coming into the side with Casemiro, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema and Isco dropping down to the bench.Diego Simeone made two alterations with Gabi and Angel Correa making way for Thomas Partey and Vitolo.
Atletico made a sloppy start to the second half and were punished by Ronaldo. Bale was given the freedom of the Bernabeu by the Atletico defence on the left wing and he made them pay by sending an inch-perfect cross into Ronaldo to score with a well-taken volley at the back post - his 650th career goal.
That goal jolted Atletico into life and they equalised almost immediately through Griezmann. The Frenchman collected a pass from Thomas Partey, played a neat one-two with Vitolo in the area and then buried a low shot beyond the covering Varane and into the net.
Surprisingly, Ronaldo was withdrawn soon after that goal, much to the bemusement of the Bernabeu faithful, and with the Portuguese off the pitch, free-kick duties were left to Ramos who almost snatched all three points in injury time when his set-piece destined for the top corner was clawed out by Oblak.
Man of the match - Marcelo
The Brazilian must be the most influential full-back around at the moment and he was involved in virtually all of Real Madrid's most dangerous attacks in the game.
He had the outstanding moment of the first half when he smashed a wicked shot off the upright and he was a constant thorn in Atletico Madrid's right-hand side all game.
He capped an excellent display with an outrageous piece of skill late on - flicking the ball over his head to his team-mate with his heel - which drew stunned applause from the home fans. Dani Carvajal, on the other side, was also exceptional.
Real Madrid are next in action on Wednesday night when they face Juventus in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final. Malaga are up next in La Liga next Sunday.
Atletico Madrid also have European football looming with their second leg against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League to come on Thursday before they host Levante on Sunday.