Antoine Griezmann had a freekick effort saved by Thibaut Courtois, but Atletico Madrid struggled to create much against a Real Madrid team comfortable to protect their lead.
Injury prevented Benzema from continuing in the second half with Joao Felix and Thomas Lemar introduced for Atleti.
The visitors pressed for an equaliser, but this only left the door open at the back for Real Madrid to score a second through Marco Asensio.
Luis Suarez was substituted on to give Atletico Madrid more firepower, but not even the Uruguayan could rescue the situation for his team as Real Madrid claimed a 10th straight win in all competitions.
Marco Asensio of Real Madrid CF celebrates scoring the second goal during the La Liga Santander match between Real Madrid CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on December 12, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Image credit: Getty Images
TALKING POINT - Is this the beginning of the end for Diego Simeone at Atleti?
The chant of ‘Simeone, please stay’ that rang around the Santiago Bernabeu minutes from the end of this Madrid derby underlined the situation the Atletico Madrid manager currently faces. It was only six months ago that Simeone was celebrating a second La Liga title, but the Argentine might now be facing a reckoning as manager of the capital club. Are we witnessing the beginning of the end for Simeone at Atletico Madrid?
MAN OF THE MATCH - Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)
Courtois played an important role in this Real Madrid win, making a number of important saves for the home team, but Vinicius did more than anyone else to decide this derby. The Brazilian winger has emerged as a genuine difference-maker for Los Blancos and he made the difference here, contributing an assist for both Real Madrid goals. Vinicius provided his team with the cutting edge that Atletico Madrid lacked throughout.
Atletico Madrid - Oblak 5, Llorente 6, Felipe 4, Kondogbia 4, Hermoso 5, Correa 4, Koke 4, De Paul 5, Carrasco 5, Griezmann 6, Cunha 5. Subs - Herrera 4, Suarez 5, Lemar 4, Lodi 3, Felix 7.
'They deserved it' - Simeone praises Real after Atletico defeat in Madrid derby
16’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Atletico Madrid: The deadlock is broken and Real Madrid have scored the first goal against the run of play! The ball was played out to Vinicius, he crossed for Benzema and the French striker slammed home an excellent finish on the full volley.
37’ GRIEZMANN... what a save! The freekick strike from Griezmann was heading for the top corner of the Real Madrid net, but Courtois pulls off an incredible save to keep it out!
57’ GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Atletico Madrid: Completely against the run of play, Real Madrid have doubled their advantage! Jovic plays the ball to Vinicius on the counter attack, he feeds Asensio and he finishes across Oblak and into the far corner of the Atletico Madrid net!
Three Real Madrid players have now scored five or more goals in LaLiga this season (Karim Benzema - 13, Vinicius Junior -10, Marco Asensio - 5).
Real Madrid have now gone 11 Madrid derbies in La Liga without losing one.