Karim Benzema and Asensio fire Real Madrid to derby glory over Atlético | La Liga

Within the last minute of the 279th Madrid derby, the followers within the south finish of the Santiago Bernabéu started to belt out their model of Dangerous Moon Rising, the opening bar asking Atlético how they had been feeling. Excessive within the reverse nook, the place only a hundred away supporters sat in silence, all too conscious that they confronted a protracted wait within the chilly earlier than they started the stroll house, the reply was: fairly flat. Their crew had not performed badly however an early aim in both half, first from Karim Benzema then from Marco Asensio, was sufficient to defeat them once more. Worse, they knew it was most likely sufficient for the defence of their league title to be derailed in December.

Madrid knew that too, the embraces on the finish expressing how massive a step this was. Victory leaves them eight factors away from Sevilla on the prime, 9 above Real Betis, and 13 over Atlético and Real Sociedad. In case you’re questioning, it leaves them 18 factors above Barcelona, who produce other issues to fear about. There is no such thing as a league for them. The query is whether or not there’s a league for anybody else; though Sevilla and Atlético have a recreation in hand, the reply might be not.

Fourteen days could have completed it. One after the other the contenders got here and one after the other they fell. Sevilla, Athletic, Real Sociedad, even Inter: Madrid beat all of them. Right here they beat Atlético too on an evening when Luka Modric’s identify rang spherical, Thibaut Courtois made his statutory saves and Vinícius Júnior was decisive once more, probably the most dynamic participant in La Liga. The Brazilian made each.

The primary got here early, Atlético’s shiny opening over virtually as quickly because it had begun. Twice Koke gave the ball away and if Madrid nonetheless had a great distance to go, beginning by the midway line, in addition they have Benzema and Vinícius who mixed to carve open one other opponent, a second all it took.

Asensio launched the Brazilian simply as Felipe doubted whether or not to take a step up. By the point he had determined it was too late and Vinícius virtually gently lifted the cross in the direction of Benzema – that calmness and precision a portrait of his development.

Atlético players look dejected after Marco Asensio’s goal
Atlético gamers look dejected after Marco Asensio’s aim. {Photograph}: Sergio Pérez/Reuters

Benzema was the one man within the space in white and there have been seven of them in stripes however nonetheless he discovered house, guiding an excellent volley into the underside nook past Jan Oblak. He was not absolutely match and would have to make means at half-time, his work right here performed.

Madrid had been the place they needed to be, Atlético the place they’ve been too many instances just lately – this was the eleventh consecutive derby by which that they had failed to win, and they appeared acutely aware of that within the the rest of the primary half. Ten minutes later Koke was invited to shoot, the outcome providing a motive why, and for a short time not an enormous quantity else was taking place.

An Antoine Griezmann free-kick sharply saved by Courtois lacked the facility to actually hassle earlier than Oblak blocked Vinícius on the close to publish, the attacker calling for the followers to increase the roof.

From Atlético’s perspective one thing had to change. From Madrid’s, it did too however not by way of alternative. Benzema, who had hurried again from damage, was withdrawn at half-time whereas Diego Simeone despatched on João Félix and Thomas Lemar. Inside 5 minutes that they had labored a gap, Courtois stopping Félix’s shot. The Portuguese then filtered a neat cross to Mateus Cunha, dashing in the direction of the six-yard field. This effort was harder to take care of however Courtois saved once more, one other one for the gathering.

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Subsequent Félix virtually launched Cunha with a intelligent volley throughout the pitch and then he equipped Lemar simply inside the world, however a second’s indecision was ample for the clear capturing alternative that opened earlier than him to shut once more. This was completely different, or so it appeared; as an alternative, it proved to be the identical. Atlético had began properly, pushing Madrid into their very own space, solely to be caught as soon as extra. A protracted ball was laid off by Luka Jovic for Vinícius and he discovered Asensio to sweep into the online.

There was nonetheless over half an hour to go and probabilities too. Mario Hermoso headed over, Luis Suárez simply failed to attain from shut vary and Courtois twice saved from Lemar. However any actual perception had drained from them with the second aim, Madrid had been ready to handle these moments, and Atlético more and more sensed that they only weren’t going to rating. And when Courtois saved a thumping, close-range Félix volley along with his face within the final minute, it was performed. That had harm however he was feeling fantastic, thanks for asking, his fists clenched in celebration on the last whistle.

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