Real pull 13 points clear of Atletico


Real Madrid secured the bragging rights in the Madrid derby with a 2-0 victory over Atletico Madrid on Sunday night.

Los Blancos welcomed back the on-form Karim Benzema and granted Marco Asensio a run too after his cracker in midweek, while Antoine Griezmann and Matheus Cunha spearheaded Atleti’s attack.

The host hit the front with 16 minutes played after Benzema spotted an open space in the area to volley a cross into the area from Vinicius Junior into the bottom-corner.

With the half drifting away, Atleti came inches close to go level from a thumping free-kick outside the area by Griezmann but he was met with a stupendous palm by Thibaut Courtois.

Madrid though regained momentum and brought Vinicius in on goal from a through ball by Carlos Casemiro late in the half, but goalkeeper Jan Oblak made a telling stop.

With Benzema removed ahead of the second half and Luka Jovic introduced, Atleti showed a double substitution too in Joao Felix and Thomas Lemar.

Atletico looked for a strong start minutes in the resumption and saw a cutback from Cunha to Felix result in a first-time hit that went down the throat of Courtois.

Los Blancos bagged a second 12 minutes following the break after a ball from Vinicius spotted an unmarked Asensio in the area and he showed composure to apply a cool bottom-corner finish.

Diego Simeone’s men looked to cut the home side’s advantage late on through a free-kick outside the area from Lemar, with Felix unable to get on the end of it.

Felix was in the thick of things again as he volleyed a cross from the byline deep in added time into the palms of Courtois, who ensured Los Blancos left the Bernabeu with three points and a clean sheet.

FC Barcelona dropped points for a second successive LaLiga encounter after drawing 2-2 with Osasuna on Sunday evening.

Nico Gonzalez justified his recall with 12 minutes played after he beat the offside trap to get on the end of a ball over the top from Gavi before going on to apply a composed one-on-one finish.

It lasted just two minutes as the host replied when David Garcia rose to head a free-kick from Jon Moncayola in off the ground and into the back of the net.

Barcelona were close to go ahead again in the latter stages from a ball by Memphis Depay, but goalkeeper Sergio Herrera was on guard to thwart amongst others Abde.

The latter did get the better of their opposite number four minutes following halftime after he directed a loose ball in the area from a cross into the roof of the net.

Osasuna meanwhile appealed heavily for a penalty at the other end as the ball from a smart move coincided with the hand of Gerard Pique, but it was waved away by the officiating team.

That didn’t matter as with four minutes to go, Chimy Avila drilled a first-time shot from the edge of the area into the bottom-corner after Barca failed to deal with a corner-kick.

In the end, the Blaugrana’s stuttering run of form in the league and under Xavi Hernandez continued with yet another dropped points.

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