Real Madrid fought their way back into the Spanish La Liga titke race with a 3-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in a feisty derby at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.
Real’s fifth league win in a row means they sit second for the first time since September, above Atletico, and just five points behind Barcelona.
Casemiro, Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale’s strikes inflicted Atletico’s first home defeat of the season across all competitions and moved the European champions up to second, within five points of leaders Barcelona, as their revival under Santiago Solari continued.
Antoine Griezmann equalised for Atletico after Casemiro’s overhead kick sent Real ahead, but Ramos slammed home from the penalty spot before halftime to silence the home fans.
Atletico’s Alvaro Morata netted a brilliant lob against his former side but it was ruled out for offside before Bale drilled in the visitors’ third to secure the points for Real Madrid.
Thomas Partey was dismissed after getting his second yellow card at the end of a disappointing afternoon for Diego Simeone’s side, who dropped to third after losing for the second weekend in a row.
Bale had been left out of the starting line-up for the second time in four days, after he was also a substitute against Barca in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.
The Welshman’s goal, his 100th for Real Madrid, will not have been lost on coach Santiago Solari and ended Atletico’s hopes of a comeback after Sergio Ramos’ penalty put Real in front at halftime, with Antoine Griezmann earlier cancelling out Casemiro’s acrobatic opener.