Real Madrid’s hope of winning the La Liga title became uncertain today as Atletico Madrid came from behind to draw 1-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu, just five minutes to the end of the game.
After a goalless first half, Pepe headed in from Toni Kroos free-kick in the 52nd minute of the game to make it 1-0 for Madrid.
But Antoine Griezmann scored a super equaliser for Atletico in the 85th minute of the game to silence the 80,000 spectators at the stadium.
Madrid however still have a game in hand as Barcelona tackle struggling Malaga later today, with prospects of overtaking Madrid at the top of the summit, with superior goal advantage.
The El-Classico game of April 23 between Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu will certainly decide where the title goes this season.
The Madrid derby was remarkable for its missed opportunities for Zinedine Zidane boys, Real Madrid reported on its site.
The first arrived after a quarter of an hour. Cristiano Ronaldo picked up the ball on the edge of the box, struck a shot which hit the near post and was expertly picked up by Oblak. A few minutes later, Benzema brought the ball down, combined with the Portuguese and his first-time shot was sent wide for a corner by the visiting goalkeeper.
The home side’s clearest chance came just a minute after the half hour mark. Modric gained possession in the middle of the park, linked up sensationally with Kroos and looked to set up Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese ace did well in the one-on-one with Oblak, but Savic proved his mettle as he headed the ball off the line to deny a Whites’ goal.
Atlético responded nine minutes later. A dangerous shot from Griezmann, following a fast-paced counter attack forced Keylor Navas to bail his team out.
Real Madrid came flying out of the traps at the beginning of the second half, fashioning two clear-cut openings in the space of just three minutes. With 47 minutes on the clock, Marcelo shaped in a cross which was met by Cristiano Ronaldo, whose towering header whistled just inches wide of the upright. Just a minute later, Dani Carvajal’s floated cross was nodded back across goal by Ronaldo to Karim Benzema, whose effort from point-blank range was blocked by Jan Oblak, who was fast becoming one of the visitors’ standout performers.
The league leaders deserved to have been in front by this stage and the Whites duly took the lead on 52′. Toni Kroos swung over a free-kick and Pepe leapt highest to glance the ball home.
The game looked to be petering out, but the visitors struck to level terms in a rare foray forward. Ángel Correa slipped the ball through to Antoine Griezmann, who made no mistake with the finish. Attentions in the Real Madrid camp now turn to the Champions quarter-final clash against Bayern Munich.