Karim Benzema scored a late equaliser to snatch a point for Real Madrid in a 1-1 derby draw against Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Diego Simeone’s side still hold a five point lead over their closest rivals, and a three-point lead over Barcelona, at the top of the table, but the difference would have been eight points had it not been for Benzema’s late goal.
Kieran Trippier made an immediate return to the Atleti starting lineup after serving a 10-match ban for breaching betting rules with Karim Benzema also returning for Real Madrid following some recent injury troubles.
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Atletico Madrid started the better of the two teams and needed just 15 minutes to open the scoring, with Marcos Llorente threading Luis Suarez in behind the opposition defence for the Uruguayan to finish past Thibaut Courtois.
Zinedine Zidane introduced Vinicius Junior and Fede Valverde after 60 minutes in an attempt to change the match and the equaliser came in the 88th minute when Casemiro and Benzema combined to find the back of the net.
TALKING POINT - Atletico Madrid made to pay for their wastefulness in front of goal
Traditionally, Atletico Madrid take the few chances they create. However, this performance saw them carve out of a number of scoring opportunities. In fact, the Liga leaders should have been out of sight by the time Benzema found the back of the net late on. Yannick Carrasco and Suarez in particular will rue their wastefulness in front of goal. Atleti are still waiting for their first derby win at the Wanda Metropolitano.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Marcos Llorente (Atletico Madrid)
No player has provided more assists in La Liga this season than Llorente and it was his pass that created the opener for Suarez after just 15 minutes. Simeone’s decision to turn the holding midfielder into an attacker last season has paid dividends and this was arguably the 26-year-old’s best performance in an Atletico Madrid shirt. Llorente was all over the pitch. There was nothing his former club could do to contain him.
Atletico Madrid - Oblak 8, Trippier 8, Savic 6, Felipe 6, Hermoso 6, Carrasco 5, Llorente 8, Koke 7, Lemar 5, Correa 4, Suarez 7. Subs - Felix 5, Saul 5, Kondogbia 4.
Real Madrid - Courtois 8, Vazquez 5, Varane 6, Nacho 5, Mendy 5, Kroos 7, Casemiro 6, Modric 6, Rodrygo 5, Benzema 7, Asensio 5. Subs - Vinicius 6, Valverde 6.
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15’ GOAL! Atletico Madrid 1-0 Real Madrid: The breakthrough in the derby! Atletico Madrid have the lead and it's Suarez who finds the back of the net! Llorente surged forward after getting to a pass ahead of Nacho, plays the pass in behind the defence and Suarez finishes past Courtois!
42’ Penalty claim! The ball looked to come off the arm of Felipe at a corner kick. The officials are going to take a good look at this. Real Madrid believe they should have a penalty kick! But it’s not given!
63’ Should have been a second goal! Trippier plays a deep cross to the back post, it's headed back across goal for Correa, who was completely unmarked, but he scuffs his shot wide! What a chance!
80’ How didn't Benzema score?! Oblak blocks from the Real Madrid striker after being played in Vinicius and then he gets up to make a second save from Benzema! That was the chance!
88’ GOAL! Atletico Madrid 1-1 Real Madrid: It's a dramatic late equaliser! Suarez loses the ball, Benzema plays a one-two with Casemiro and the French forward finishes into the back of the Atletico Madrid net! Real Madrid might have snatched a point here!
Karim Benzema (371) has overtaken Roberto Carlos (370) as the foreign player with the most appearances for Real Madrid in La Liga history.
Marcos Llorente has now provided more assists in La Liga this season (eight) than any other player.
Benzema scored the equaliser with his eighth shot on goal, and his fourth on target, against Atletico Madrid.
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