Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane has said the current La Liga leaders, Atletico should “definitely” be considered title favourite after Saturday’s meeting.
A third straight victory in a key week for Zidane’s side may mark a momentum shift. His job was under scrutiny a few days ago.
With such victory on Saturday night, Zidane’s side has re-established some form. The defeat sees Atletico missing the chance to open a six-point gap to Real, with Barcelona already 12 points behind.
“We confirmed the improvement we showed in many areas against Sevilla and Borussia [Monchengladbach].
“There are criticisms that hurt, but they also make you stronger. We competed very well from minute one until the end, we must be satisfied with work well done,” said Zidane.
Since 2016, Real is yet to lose a Madrid derby in La Liga. Athletico Madrid still remains on top of the log with 26 points and two outstanding games.
Madrid got in front through Casemiro’s 15th-minute header from Toni Kroos’ corner at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium. Dani Carvajal’s excellent second-half strike from outside the box, which rebounded off the post and in off the back of Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak sealed the win for Les Blancos.
With the loss, Real Sociedad, who is currently a point behind Athletico could overtake them with a win against Eibar today.
The defeat ends Diego Simeone’s side seven straight wins in the league. Going into the derby, Los Rojiblancos conceded just two goals in their first 10 La Liga fixtures.
Real Madrid v Athletico Madrid highlight
Real dominated the early stages of the game and Oblak produced an excellent save to tip Karim Benzema’s shot onto the post before Casemiro’s opener.
Simeone made three changes after a disappointing first half. This brought about an improvement in the side. Thomas Lemar’s shot went agonizingly wide from Marcos Llorente’s low cross after 55 minutes, which proved to be pivotal.
Seven minutes later, Carvajal’s powerful attempt doubled Real’s advantage.
Athletico tried to get back into the game, but Thibaut Courtois produced a good save from Saul Niguez to deny Atletico a late lifeline with their only shot on target.