Real Madrid saw off crosstown rivals Atletico 2-1 in a fiery edition of the city’s local derby at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday to restore their two-point lead over Barcelona in LaLiga.
Despite being second best for large periods of the first half, Carlo Ancelotti’s side were ruthless in front of goal as strikes from Rodrygo and Federico Valverde put them in a commanding position. Mario Hermoso pulled a goal back for the hosts late on but they were unable to find an equaliser.
The visitors ceded position in the opening minutes of the first half, but took the lead before 20 minutes when Rodrygo smashed home a classy finish past Jan Oblak from Aurelien Tchouameni’s chip over the Atleti back line.
A blazing run into the area from the red-hot Vinicius Junior led to Real’s second goal as Valverde pounced on a rebound and buried a first-time shot after his Brazilian teammate close-range toe poke had caromed off the near post.
The hosts battled to get back into the game and managed to halve the deficit late in the second half when a corner kick took a fortuitous bounce off Mario Hermoso and sailed into the back of Thibaut Courtois’ net.
The equaliser never came for Atleti as Carlo Ancelotti’s side held on for the result to pick up a big three points in the early stages of their LaLiga title defence.
Victory means Real return to the top of the LaLiga table on 18 points from six games, two ahead of Barcelona in second. Atleti are seventh, eight points behind their neighbours.