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Real Madrid vs Atletico : Real Madrid stun league leaders to close gap



Sergio Ramos

Real Madrid beat LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid 2-0 in the derby on Saturday to close to within three points of the leaders and cap a brilliant week.

Real coach Zinedine Zidane came under fire before his side won at Sevilla last weekend and then progressed to the knockout stage of the  Champions League by seeing off Borussia Monchengladbach.

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The Spanish champions, therefore, headed into the clash with Atleti in high spirits and quickly took the lead in the 15 minutes through Casemiro’s header.

Atleti were unbeaten in seven La Liga matches, but their record against Madrid is rather less impressive.

Jan Oblak’s unfortunate second-half own goal ensured a ninth consecutive league meeting with their neighbors without victory.

Casimiro in action for Real Madrid

MADRID, SPAIN – DECEMBER 12: Casemiro of Real Madrid (L) celebrates with teammates Sergio Ramos and Vinicius Junior after scoring their sides’ first goal. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Madrid had the visitors on the back foot from the outset and only a vital fingertip touch from Oblak denied Karim Benzema as he cracked a 20-yard drive against the upright.

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The opener arrived soon enough as Casemiro rose to head Toni Kroos’ corner inside the near post, unimpeded following marker Hector Herrera’s slip, although the game slowed thereafter.

Atleti had to wait until the 55th minute for their first effort almost drawing level, but for a Thomas Lemar miss.

Eight minutes later  Dani Carvajal rifled in a low shot from outside the area and the ball bounced off the post, against a helpless Oblak and into the net.

Real Madrid will next tackle Atletic Bilbao on Tuesday, without Casimiro who is on suspension after receiving five yellow cards, while Atletico Madrid will play Cardassar in the Copal Del Ray a day after.

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Real Madrid coach Zidane and Benzema reacts after reaching the Knockout stage of the champions league