But Real will be much the happier as they came from a goal down to defeat Bayern Munich 2-1 in Germany, while Atletico had to settle for a slender 1-0 victory in their home tie with English champions Leicester City.
Atletico face a potentially tricky second leg in England as Antoine Griezmann’s first half penalty was all they had to show for their first leg efforts.
Bayern took the lead against Real through Chile international Arturo Vidal, who then missed a penalty in first half injury-time.
That proved crucial as Cristiano Ronaldo scored the first of his two goals just after the break, with the second strike his 100th in all European club competitions.
Bayern were reduced to 10 men just past the hour mark when Spaniard Javi Martinez got a second booking in three minutes.
Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe scored in each half as Monaco emerged 3-2 victors against Borussia Dortmund in a thrilling Champions League quarterfinal, first-leg clash at Signal Iduna Park.
After Fabinho missed an early penalty for Leonardo Jardim's side, Mbappe made the breakthrough on 19 minutes and Sven Bender's own-goal 16 minutes later put them in command.
But Dortmund improved vastly in the second half and hit back through Ousmane Dembele, although Mbappe secured the win with his second goal on 79 minutes before Shinji Kagawa pulled another one back late on to keep the German team in the tie.