Going into the 152nd El Derbi madrileño things looked setup for Atletico Madrid to finally break their near 14 year winless streak against Real Madrid. With Los Merengues resting several starters and Atletico with a nearly first choice lineup, this should have been the day for Atletico to shine. Instead Real Madrid came back from an early deficit for a 2-1 win.
Radamel Falcao got Atletico Madrid off to a wonderful start heading in a cross in the 4th minute and staking Atletico to an early 1-0 lead. Koke"s free kick from 25-yards was saved by Diego Lopez but the keeper unable to control the rebound and Diego Godín was in the right spot, sending the ball back across to Falcao at the far post for the headed finish.
The goal was Falcao's 50th in La Liga.
The Vicente Calderón went bananas but the joy lasted only ten minutes as Real Madrid equalized thanks to an own goal by Francisco Juanfran. Angel Di Maria's free kick started the trouble, deflecting off one player at the top of the box before taking a second deflection off Juanfran in front of his goalkeeper, adjusting the flight of the ball enough to send it past a diving Thibaut Courtois.
One Real Madrid supporter had an interesting celebration after the goal:
The two goals calmed down the frantic early tempo but instead of free flowing play we got lots of fouls and an increasingly edgy atmosphere as the referee desperately tried to keep things under control by handing out yellow cards like the ice cream man giving out popsicles on a hot day.
Courtois made a huge save just before the break after Di Maria found Karim Benzema alone in space on the right side. The French striker struggled to gain control of the ball giving the Atletico keeper time to recover and make a sliding tackle to break-up the pressure.
Atletico dominated the opening 18 minutes of the second half with Real Madrid having virtually no possession. So of course in the 63rd minute, seemingly from nowhere, Di Maria snuck him behind the defense running onto a pass from Benzema and beat Courtois to put the visitors ahead 2-1.
As the minutes ticked away Atletico became more and more frustrated and less and less able to mount a consistent attack. The addition of Xabi Alonso by Jose Mourinho helped settle down the Madrid midfield and improved their possession greatly.
The last time Atletico beat Real Madrid was in October of 1999...25 league matches ago. Since that win Atletico have only managed six draws combined with 19 losses against their rivals. Madrid extends their advantage in second place to six points over Atletico.