Real Madrid spoils Atletico's unbeaten record to claim bragging rights
- Real Madrid defeated Atletico Madrid 2-0 in the derby
- With the win, Real have move to third in La Liga, 3 points behind Atletico
- Real ended their city rivals' 26-match unbeaten run in the league
Rekindling their La Liga title hopes, Real Madrid on Saturday beat league leaders Atletico Madrid 2-0 dishing out the first league defeat of the season to their city rivals.
With the win, Real, who salvaged their Champions League campaign in midweek by making the last 16, moved to third in the table, three points behind Atletico.
For Diego Simeone's side, who boasted a 26-match unbeaten run in the league, stretching back to February, it was a disappointing outing.
Right at the 15-minute-mark, Casemiro broke the deadlock for Zinedine Zidane's team as he headed home a corner from Toni Kroos.
That was the reward for Real's early pressure which had seen Karim Benzema denied by a fine save from 'keeper Jan Oblak moments earlier.
Atletico, who also made to the Champions League knockout round in midweek, struggled to make any impression and star striker Luis Suarez was an anonymous figure upfront.
Real went 2-0 up after 63 minutes with Kroos again turning provider.
His layoff eventually fell for Dani Carvajal who unleashed a 30-metre piledriver which hit the post but was diverted into the net by the helpless Oblak.
The 'keeper was credited with an own-goal for his troubles.
Leading up to the derby, Atletico had conceded only two goals in 11 league games this season. Real doubled the Los Rojiblancos' tally in just a single outing.
It was a night of frustration with Simeone's men managing just one shot on target. Egos too were bruised.
Portuguese star Joao Felix showed his displeasure at being replaced by Saul on the hour.
Suarez allowed himself an ironic smile when he too was benched in favour of Geoffrey Kondogbia in the 73rd minute.
In stark contrast, Zidane could be especially pleased for Casemiro who had returned from COVID-19 quarantine while Carvajal had recovered from a right leg injury.
Toni Kroos too put in a mammoth shift for the Los Blancos as he completed 87 of his 90 attempted passes.
It was a night to remember also for captain Sergio Ramos who was playing in a Madrid derby for the 43rd time.
Atletico, meanwhile, could lose top spot on Sunday when second-placed Real Sociedad welcome Eibar.