Real Madrid close gap with precious win over rivals Atletico

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Real Madrid beat La Liga pacesetters Atletico Madrid 2-0 in the derby on Sunday (AEDT) to close to within three points of the leaders and cap a brilliant week.

Pressure was building on Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane before his side won at Sevilla last weekend and then progressed in the UEFA Champions League by seeing off Borussia Monchengladbach.

The Spanish champions therefore headed into the clash with Atleti in high spirits and quickly established another lead through Casemiro's header.

Atleti had won their prior seven La Liga matches and were unbeaten this term, but their record against Madrid is rather less impressive and Jan Oblak's unfortunate second-half own goal ensured a ninth consecutive league meeting with their neighbours without victory.

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

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 of note but should have drawn level as Thomas Lemar ghosted in at the far post after Raphael Varane failed to cut out a low cross, only to stab a tame effort into the side-netting.

They were made to pay eight minutes later when Dani Carvajal rifled in a low shot from outside the area and the ball bounced off the post, against a prone Oblak and into the net.

A recovery from Diego Simeone's men always appeared unlikely and Thibaut Courtois saved well from Saul Niguez's close-range header to allow Madrid to coast home, almost netting a third as Oblak turned Lucas Vazquez's blast over the top.

Source Omnisport