Video: Real Madrid 0-1 Atletico Madrid – Griezmann goal ends host’s title challenge

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Atletico Madrid beat local rivals Real Madrid 1-0 in front of a sold out Bernabeu stadium on Saturday afternoon in La Liga.

An Antoine Griezmann goal early in the second half was enough to secure the win.

Ahead of kickoff, the game was being billed as a must-win encounter for both sides; Atletico and Real were eight and nine points behind leaders Barcelona respectively.

There were few surprises in the team selections. Madrid were without the injured Gareth Bale and Marcelo and handed a start to James Rodriguez. Atletico went with the previously out-of-form Griezmann and local hero Fernando Torres up front.

It took until the 18th minute for the game’s first real chance to arrive. Toni Kroos’ free-kick was met by the head of Rafael Varane, but the Frenchman’s effort was off-target.

Real were enjoying the vast majority of the possession but were unable to penetrate Atletico’s resolute defence.

Atletico’s first chance fell to Torres in the 25th minute after some clever work by Koke, however Sergio Ramos was alert and blocked the shot.

Ronaldo saw a freekick well saved by Oblak after half an hour. It would have been a controversial moment if it had resulted in a goal; Ronaldo committed an unnoticed foul throw in the build-up.

Real made a change at half-time, as youth team striker Borja Mayoral replaced the recently-recovered Karim Benzema. It evoked memories of Real legend Raul, who also made his debut with a 45-minute run-out against Atletico.

The breakthrough eventually came in the 53rd minute. Felipe Luis squared the ball back to Griezmann, who ended his five-game goalless streak with a wonderful finish under Keylor Navas.

Atletico then enjoyed their first real spell of dominance, but slowly Real reasserted themselves.

Ronaldo once again went close and Godin did well to block Modric’s rasping drive, but there was to be no equaliser.

The game ended in controversy after Angel Correa’s rash challenge only received a yellow card from referee Clos Gomez.

The result leaves Atletico five points behind Barcelona having played a game more. The Catalans have 13 league games remaining in their campaign and they will need to lose at least three of them for Atletico to stand a chance of catching them. It’s a tall order; Barcelona are unbeaten in a club-record 33 outings.

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Next up for Real is a trip to Levante on Wednesday followed by a home game against Celta Vigo next weekend. Atletico welcome Real Sociedad to the Spanish capital on Tuesday, then travel to Valencia next Sunday.

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