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La Liga: Atletico hold Real 1-1 in Madrid derby in fight for second place

The draw benefitted FC Barcelona as the league leaders have an 11-point lead over Atletico at the top of the standings with seven matches left.

Edited by: India TV Sports Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: April 08, 2018 22:31 IST ]

Griezman and Ronaldo's goals saw the Madrid derby end in a draw.

Photo:GETTY IMAGES

The Madrid derby was an intense battle at Santiago Bernabeu as Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann each scored on Sunday as Atletico held Real 1-1 to keep a four-point lead over its city rival in the fight for second place in the Spanish league.

The result benefited league leader Barcelona, which defeated Leganes 3-1 on Saturday with a hat-trick by Lionel Messi. Barcelona has an 11-point lead over Atletico at the top of the standings with seven matches left.

Atletico won La Liga in 2013-14 but has finished third behind either Barcelona or Real Madrid in all other years since 2012-13, which was the team's first full season under coach Diego Simeone.

Madrid hasn't finished worse than second since 2014, when it trailed Atletico and Barcelona. The other time it failed to finish in the top two was in 2003-04, when it was fourth behind Valencia, Barcelona and Deportivo La Coruna.

The two rivals saw each other battling for possession as the physicality in the match was astounding as Real had committed 12 fouls and Atletico did 17.

Ronaldo opened the scoring early in the second half with a shot from near the far post after a long cross by Gareth Bale from the left flank.

Griezmann equalized less than five minutes later with a strike from near the penalty spot after a move started by Vitolo inside the area.

Ronaldo had scored 20 goals in his last 10 matches in all competitions, including his acclaimed bicycle kick in the 3-0 first-leg win at Juventus in the Champions League quarterfinals midweek.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane rested some of his regular starters ahead of the return leg against Juventus on Wednesday at Bernabeu, including midfielders Luka Modric and Casemiro. Striker Karim Benzema also started from the bench, replacing Ronaldo in the 64th.

Atletico hasn't lost at Bernabeu in four seasons in the Spanish league.

(With AP Inputs)

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