Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio scored a goal in Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid at the Bernabeu on Sunday to take a 13-point lead over their local rivals in the La Liga table.
Benzema scored in the 16th minute with a cross kick from Vinicius Junior, bypassing Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak, to score his thirteenth goal in the league this season.
The visitors improved after the break before Asensio finished off a brutal counter-attack in the 57th minute to confirm Real Madrid’s 10th consecutive win in all competitions.
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The result left Real Madrid in a dominant position at the top of the League, eight points, with 17 games played, after its victories over Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Atlético, now in recent weeks.
“Winning the derby is very important for our fans and I bet they left the field really happy,” Asensio told reporters.
“Vinicius is playing really well, we are happy with his development this season. He does everything, scores and helps. We are all happy for him.”
Atletico started superbly, and Thibaut Courtois had to do early when he choked Marcos Llorente’s pass with Mateus Cunha – picked ahead of Luis Suarez in Atletico’s attack – waiting to be pounced.
After that, Real Madrid began to dominate. Eder Militao’s header passed close to the goal before Benzema, who has been LaLiga’s standout player so far this season, opened the scoring.
Atletico’s best chance came from Antoine Griezmann, who saved a free kick by Courtois when he dived at full capacity, while at the other end tested Vinicius Oblak before the break.
Both managers made changes in the break. Carlo Ancelotti pulled out top scorer Benzema, replacing him with Luka Jovic, while Diego Simeone made a double substitution, introducing Joao Felix and Thomas Lemar in place of Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco.
“We were touching,” Ancelotti said after the match, adding that his team was now a La Liga candidate. “We had solidity in defence. They played a lot of long balls, they tried to go behind with Correa, and we were a bit surprised because they played 4-4-2, so we had to press a little bit more with the full-back, but after the first goal we controlled the game.
“We are the favorites today, you can say that, of course. We did well, better than the others. We are focused on the next matches, holding back may cost you mentally. We are doing well, we have to keep going, this is the only way to get close to winning sooner.” “.
The first chance in the second half fell to Asensio, who chose to turn into a crowd of Atletico defenders inside the penalty area rather than a quick shot.
Felix made an impact, forcing Courtois to the rescue before playing in Cunha to do the same, before Atletico fell back on the counter.
Vinicius accounted for his second assist of the match, playing the last ball in Asensio to sweep Oblak clinically.
Courtois saved well from Lemar 15 minutes before the end of the match, and Vinicius could not touch a dangerous cross from Ferland Mendy, as Luka Modric carried out the final stages of the match from the midfield.
Ancelotti praised Modric and others after the match: “Modric, the three points, solidity in defence, clean sheets, Courtois, Vinicius … there was a lot.
“[Modric] He played a great game in every sense of the word, with the ball, without the ball, with his personality and character, he is an extraordinary player. “
Real’s 2-0 victory means Atletico have now played 11 La Liga derby matches without a win, a streak that stretches back to 2016. After the match, Diego Simeone, Atletico coach, admitted his side faced a team at their best.
Simeone said: “The most important thing in football is to be clinical. Real Madrid are completely private at the moment. They have a chance and they score. From there, the game starts to change. We had some chances at the start of the second half. Then they used the attacks. They rebounded well and scored a great goal, and they won the match fairly.”