Ronaldo strike earns Los Blancos a draw in heated derby
Real Madrid and their noisy neighbours Atletico laid on the perfect prelude to the Oscars with an at-times X-rated blockbuster full of action, villainy and bad acting as both sides lost the plot and played out a draw in which the real winner was the third team in the Spanish title race, Barcelona.
Amid the late challenges, dives and recriminations of referee Carlos Ferreiro by both sides, Cristiano Ronaldo still managed to have the last word with the goal that earned Real a point and meant they have now gone 15 years without having been beaten at the home of the city rivals.
Madrid have won 12 and drawn two since Atletico’s last home win against them in 1999 and it was the same old story after just three minutes when Luka Modric took a short corner to Angel Di Maria and his cross was swept in by an unmarked Karim Benzema.
Ronaldo to the rescue: Madrid’s No 7 punches the air as Xabi Alonso and Gareth Bale race to congratulate him
Job done: Ronaldo winks at Atletico keeper Thibaut Courtois, on loan from Chelsea, at the end of the match
Atletico: Courtois, Juanfran, Godín, Miranda, Filipe Luis, M. Suarez, Gabi, Arda (Rodriguez 83′), Koke, Raul Garcia, Diego Costa.
Subs not used: Aranzubia, Villa, Alderweireld, Ribas da Cunha, Insua, Sosa.
Booked: Costa, Godin, Turan.
Scorers: Koke, 28, Gabi, 45.
Real Madrid: Diego Lopez, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Coentrao (Marcelo 59′), Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale, Xabi Alonso, Arbeloa (Carvajal71′), Modric, Di Maria (Isco 72′).
Subs not used: Casillas,Varane, Jese, Illarra.
Booked: Arbeloa, Pepe.
Scorer: Benzema, 3, Ronaldo, 82.
The Frenchman, who had never scored past Thibaut Courtois, had timed his run perfectly. Atletico Madrid’s players pursued the referee believing Benzema had pushed Juanfran to escape his marker. They then tried to restart the game before celebrating Real Madrid players had come back on to the pitch.
The football was soon overtaken by other things. Sergio Ramos went in late on Raul Garcia, Xabi Alonso was upended by Mario Suarez, and Ronaldo was fouled by Juanfran.
With the pushing and shoving now taking centre-stage it was no surprise that the spotlight was shinning brightly on Pepe. He clashed with Raul Garcia as the referee Ferreiro struggled to keep control of the game.
Diego Costa tested Diego Lopez and Benzema then forced a save from Courtois after being played in by Di Maria.
The on-loan Chelsea keeper then blocked at the second attempts after Ronaldo tried to flick Modric’s cross past him.
The decisions were going Real Madrid’s way. The match official had waved away appeals for a penalty when Ramos brought down Diego Costa – a decision that provoked the throwing of a missile on to the pitch. He then ignored Fabio Coentrao dragging down Raul Garcia in the area and also missed Pepe barging Godin at a corner.
No chance: Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez can only watch on as Gabi’s screamer flies towards goal
Derby day: Gabi’s team-mates gather around him after his strike put Atletico ahead against Real Madrid
Good effort: Koke shoots towards goal to cancel out Karim Benzema’s early opener
All smiles: Midfielder Koke celebrates after equalising for Atletico just before the half hour mark
Despite not getting the decisions Atletico soon had their equliser with the aptly named Jorge Resurrection Koke bringing them back to life.
Arda Turan gave Coentrao the slip and rolled the ball to the young Spain international who shot past Lopez.
The goal that put Atletico ahead was even better. Captain Gabi scoring from all of 35-yards out past Lopez who appeared to see the shot late.
The defensive midfielder rarely gets his name on the scoresheet but was allowed space by Modric and sent his low shot dipping past Ronaldo as it travelled goalwards.
The referee had booked three and the teams had scored three but with three penalty appeals turned down both the goal and card count should have been higher.
Godin had also been lucky the referee had not seen his backwards head-butt on chief antagonist Pepe differently. Pepe went dramatically to ground and the referee booked both.
Ronaldo had to tell Pepe to get on with game after he persisted with his complaints.
Diego Costa had the first chance of the second half with a shot saved by Diego Lopez. Ronaldo then had a set-piece opportunity after Coentrao was fouled but fired the free-kick straight into the wall. There were appeals for handball as the ball struck Gabi on the arm.
Ahead: Karim Benzema pokes Real Madrid into the lead against city rivals Atletico after just three minutes
Ecstatic: France international Benzema celebrates after putting Madrid into the lead at the Vicente Calderon
Team effort: Pepe (left) acknowledges the crowd as his Madrid team-mates congratulate scorer Benzema
Diego Costa then jumped highest to meet Gabi’s corner but headed wide of Lopez’ goal. Costa went down again in the area under Pepe’s challenge, though this time it looked more like a slip from the Brazilian who will be a Spain international team-mate to Sergio Ramos and company on Monday when Vicente del Bosque’s squad meets-up.
The game appeared to have lost its sting but it was merely a lull in the storm. Costa raced away from Alvaro Arbeloa and as the two tangled Costa went down just inside the area.
The Atletico bench erupted as the referee booked only Costa and Diego Simeone’s number two Mono Burgos needed to be restrained by what seemed like the entire Atletico Madrid technical staff and all of the home side’s substitutes as he went for the referee.
Real Madrid centre back Pepe went down under the challenge of Juanfran… with the Atletico defender knowing little about it.
The Portugal international appeared to put his face against the back of Juanfran’s head before theatrically falling to the floor. Outrageous.
Face to face: Real centre back Pepe (left) and Diego Godin had words in the box
Strange: Pepe appears to put his face into the back of Diego Godin’s head
Outrageous: Pepe hit the deck after grabbing his face as though he’d been struck
Arbeloa had been dropped from the Spain squad and Costa called up to it on Friday. The two have history from the last game when the former Liverpool defender raked his studs down the forward’s Achilles at the Santiago Bernabeu. He was then booked for a foul on Costa and taken off by Carlo Ancelotti.
Both Gareth Bale and Ronaldo had been subdued by Atletico Madrid but the Portuguese, coming back from a three-week suspension, then pulled Real level. Arbeloa’s substitute at right-back, Dani Carvajal crossed from the right and though the ball was slightly behind him, Ronaldo wrapped his foot around it and sent it past Courtois for his 23rd league goal of the season.
Incensed: Atletico No 2 Muno Burgos was angered after Diego Costa was booked for diving
Not happy: Atletico manager Diego Simeone (LEFT) had to hold his assistant back with the help of others
Pursuit: Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos clears the ball from danger as Diego Costa watches on
Flying: Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric (centre) goes to the ground under the challenge of Gabi
Carvajal then almost undid all his good work by sending a pass across the face of his own goal that Costa intercepted and nearly sent past Lopez.
Bale then flicked the ball through to Benzema but the Frenchman failed to finish. Defeat would have been hard on Atletico, though a point leaves their title aspirations hanging by a thread.
Real Madrid in contrast had survived their toughest remaining away fixture without having lost their advantage over their neighbours in the league. It could have gone better for them, but with penalty appeals and that late Ronaldo leveler saving them, they will know it could also have gone a lot worse.
Source : Daily Mail