Real Madrid took a huge stride toward the 2021-22 La Liga title, defeating last season’s champions Atletico Madrid 2-0 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday night. Karim Benzema returned from injury to volley in a special goal in the first half, before Marco Asensio wrapped up the three points in the second half.

It was Vinicius who assisted both goals and he was initially marked well by Atleti, even though the Colchoneros didn’t have a natural right-back on the pitch. It was Marcos Llorente tasked with monitoring the Brazilian and he initially did well, but Vinicius drifted to the right to get involved in play and this created the opener in the 16th minute, as he crossed for Benzema to volley the first time.

Atletico came close to equalising when Thibaut Courtois made a good save from an Antoine Griezmann freekick before halftime, but the Frenchman was taken off at the break along with Yannick Carrasco, with Joao Felix and Thomas Lemar sent on to try something different.

That worked to an extent, as they improved the Rojiblancos’ play and Joao Felix drew another save from Courtois, before the Portuguese set up Matheus Cunha for a shot of his own.

The ball was then worked to Thomas Lemar, who could have first-timed it with his weaker right foot, but he didn’t take that opportunity and Real Madrid scored their second moments later, as Luka Jovic held the ball up well and fed it to Vinicius, who got his second assist of the night by setting up Asensio.

Renan Lodi and Luis Suarez came on for Diego Simeone’s side and Atleti created some more chances, but it was too little too late. Mario Hermoso headed over, a Lemar freekick almost went all the way in and Courtois’ face denied Joao Felix right at the end.

But, Real Madrid held on for a 2-0 victory that moves them 13 points clear of their city rivals and 18 ahead of Barcelona. It’s Sevilla who are the closest challengers for now, at eight points behind.


Courtesy: MARCA

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