Real reclaim top spot with Madrid derby spoils

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MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 18: Rodrygo of Real Madrid celebrates with teammates after scoring their teams first goal during the LaLiga Santander match between Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid CF at Civitas Metropolitano Stadium on September 18, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 18: Rodrygo of Real Madrid celebrates with teammates after scoring their teams first goal during the LaLiga Santander match between Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid CF at Civitas Metropolitano Stadium on September 18, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

LaLiga champions Real Madrid secured the bragging rights in the Madrid derby on Sunday evening with a 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid.

Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, Luka Modric and Aurelien Tchouameni were drafted back in the fold by Real from the team that trounced Real Mallorca in the league last Sunday. For Atletico, there was a first start of the season for Antoine Griezmann.

Los Blancos made their very first threat count on 18 minutes when Rodrygo got on the end of a ball over the top by Tchouameni and poked beyond Jan Oblak.

The host looked for a quick reply when a powerful strike from Geoffrey Kondogbia brought a remarkable save from Los Blancos shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois.

Real continued their free-flowing nature and added a second late in the half through a close-range tap-in by Federico Valverde after Oblak parried Vinicius Junior’s initial shot back into play.

Diego Simeone’s men made an inspired start to the second period and left the visitors on the back-foot as shots and balls around the area from amongst others Antoine Griezmann caused some nervousness.

Los Blancos enjoyed a quiet spell though runs in and out of possession from Valverde and Rodrygo bothered Atleti, who brought on Mario Hermoso and Angel Correa.

Atleti pulled one back with seven minutes to go when Hermoso beat Courtois to a corner-kick by Griezmann and bundled in from close-range.

With tampers boiling over, Hermoso’s evening turned sour in stoppage time as he got a red card for an off-the-ball incident on Ceballos.

Real survived the closing seconds and bagged the points and bragging rights in the Madrid derby and returned to the top of the table.

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