Real Madrid dispatched Atletico Madrid pretty handily at the Santiago Berabeu thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo, who took it upon himself to essentially singlehandedly demolish his visitors. He scored from a free kick, set up the second and hit the woodwork twice as Los Blancos took the first steps towards overtaking their cross-city rivals in the table with a 2-0 win.
But it was the hosts who went ahead thanks to a moment of madness from Arda Turan combined with one of complete and utter brilliance from Ronaldo. It's unclear why the former decided to slap the ball down as he attempted to win the ball at the edge of the visitors' defensive third, but the handball was spotted, giving Ronaldo a free kick at the very edge of shooting range, 35-plus yards from Thibaut Courtois' goal.
It was going to take a perfect strike to get past the Belgian goalkeeper, and so Ronaldo provided it, sending in a fizzing drive that jumped over the wall and glanced in off the post, leaving a diving Courtois completely helpless. 1-0 Real Madrid.
The goal settled the hosts down considerably, and they managed to pretty thoroughly control the game for the remainder of the first half, with the major highlight from Atleti being an incredible dive from Radamel Falcao, who flopped theatrically to the ground after a challenge with Sergio Ramos near the corner flag.
The handbags continued after the interval, with Ramos again at the focus. This time, however, the centre back was the victim when Diego Costa smacked him in the chin while the referee's back was turned on a corner kick. The Atleti winger managed to get away with it, somehow, but his team was in line for further punishment in the 66th minute.
Ronaldo had gotten the first goal in style, and he created the second with a precise pass through a cloud of bodies to Mesut Ozil. It looked as though the German's poor first touch had let the chance escape, but he managed to recover and shoot on the turn, beating a partially-unsighted Courtois to make it 2-0.
The visitors' misery was very nearly compounded shortly thereafter when Karim Benzema was brought down on the very edge of the box by Joao Miranda. Although the (completely legitimate) penalty should was waved away, it still presented Real Madrid with a very dangerous scoring opportunity from the free kick, and Ronaldo's effort beat Courtois only to ricochet straight off the crossbar.
And the woodwork came to Atletico's rescue once more in the 78th minute when Ozil attempted to turn provider, threading a low cross through the box that Ronaldo met with an angled shot that again beat Courtois but slammed off his right-hand post and to safety. At 2-0 to Real Madrid, that didn't much matter. The match was pretty well over whether nor not the hosts padded their lead.
And so it proved. A couple of half chances for Atleti kept Los Blancos on their toes, but they were ultimately faily comfortable in seeing out the match, cutting the cap between the clubs to five points. In the process, they also increased Barcelona's lead at the top of the table to six points -- Atletico Madird were difficult to take seriously as title contenders, and this loss means that that ship's probably sailed.