Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid played out a 1-1 draw with each other in La Liga on Saturday.
Former Barcelona striker Luis Suarez put Diego Simeone’s side in the lead at Metropolitano Stadium after 15 minutes.
Karim Benzema rescued a point for the defending Spanish champions in the 88th minute after exchanging passes with Casemiro.
Madrid were denied a penalty in the first half, with the referee watching the replays several times before deciding against giving a spot kick with the ball appearing to strike Felip’s arm.
Atletico had a number of chances in the second half, with Yannick Carrasco going close once and Suarez having the opportunity to add two more goals to his tally, but Thibaut Courtois denied both of them.
At the other end, Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak stood strong between the posts and denied Benzema a number of times before the Frenchman eventually scored with two minutes of normal time remaining.
The result means that Atletico remain at the top of the La Liga table with 59 points from 25 matches, three points ahead of second-placed Barcelona, who have played 26 games.
Defending Spanish champions Madrid are currently third in the standings with 54 points from 26 games.
This is what we learned from the Madrid derby on Saturday.
Karim Benzema is Real Madrid’s best player
For years Cristiano Ronaldo was the main guy at Madrid, but now Benzema is the protagonist. The Frenchman is a world-class striker, and his goal and performance against Atletico in the Madrid on Saturday underlines his huge importance to Zinedine Zidane’s side. According to WhoScored, the 33-year-old has scored 13 goals and provided five assists in 22 La Liga games for Madrid so far this season.
Atletico Madrid are vulnerable
At one stage this season, Atletico looked like they were going to win the La Liga title with ease. However, recent results and performances have allowed Barcelona and Madrid to close the game. True, Simeone’s side – who are 12/1 to win their next La Liga fixture 3-0 against Athletic Bilbao at home, according to Betfair– have a game in hand over them, but there is no guarantee that they will win. There is a real title race on our hands in Spain.
Barcelona are the big winners
Barcelona will be most pleased with the result in the Madrid derby. Ronald Koeman’s side have been quietly creeping up the table, and now the former Spanish champions will be confident of going all the way. The Blaugrana might not be playing exhilarating football, but they are getting the job done, and at this stage of the season, that is what matters.
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