Antoine Griezmann seals point for Atletico from Madrid derby draw
Atletico hit back to extend derby run at the Bernabeu.
Antoine Griezmann denied Cristiano Ronaldo the derby headlines as Atletico Madrid fought back to claim a 1-1 LaLiga draw at Real Madrid.
Griezmann’s 57th-minute equaliser cancelled out Ronaldo’s earlier strike to extend Diego Simeone’s side’s run at the Bernabeu Stadium to three wins and two draws in their last five visits and keep them four points clear of their city rivals.
It also left leaders Barcelona 11 points better off than second-placed Atletico at the top of the table with seven games to play.
Zinedine Zidane’s men set out in the 219th Madrid derby in determined fashion and might have taken a ninth-minute lead had Ronaldo managed to make better contact with Gareth Bale’s flick-on at the far post.
The home side were aggrieved not to be awarded a penalty after Toni Kroos went down under Juanfran’s clumsy challenge two minutes later, and the Germany international let his frustration show when he was booked for a needless foul on Griezmann.
Ronaldo warmed Atletico keeper Jan Oblak’s hands with a powerfully-struck 20th-minute snapshot with Real continuing to pose the greater threat.
Oblak had to be quick off the mark eight minutes later to block Raphael Varane’s effort at point-blank range after he had controlled Kroos’ free-kick, but opposite number Keylor Navas proved equally resilient when he got a firm hand to Diego Costa’s low drive after he had broken free.
But it was Zidane’s men who came desperately close to taking the lead with three minutes of the half remaining when full-back Marcelo cut inside and unleashed a right-footed shot which cannoned back off the bar with Oblak producing a fine save to keep out Dani Carvajal’s equally fierce follow-up.
They eventually forced their way in front in fine style eight minutes into the second half when Gareth Bale – who was left out of the 3-0 Champions League victory over Juventus in midweek – found space on the left and crossed for Ronaldo to volley expertly past Oblak with defender Lucas caught under the ball.
However, the lead lasted just four minutes before Griezmann exchanged passes with Vitolo before beating Navas with the help of a deflection off Varane.
For the first time in the game, Atletico had established a momentum and Navas had to produce a good save to deny Koke as they pressed once again.
Ronaldo’s afternoon came to a premature end when he was replaced by Karim Benzema with 27 minutes remaining, and – with the visitors enjoying their best spell of the game – Isco and Luka Modric soon joined the fray.
But it was skipper Sergio Ramos who almost won it at the death when his free-kick looked to be heading into the top corner until Oblak got a hand to it.