Atletico Madrid fight back to hold Real Madrid in La Liga

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid both drop points in the derby to hand La Liga Barcelona further advantage in their chase for the title.
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring for Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid.(AP)
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring for Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid.(AP)
Updated on Apr 08, 2018 11:58 PM IST
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Associated Press, Madrid | ByAssociated Press

Cristiano Ronaldo and Antoine Griezmann each scored Sunday as Atletico Madrid held Real Madrid 1-1 at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to keep a four-point lead over their city rival in the fight for second place in the Spanish league.

The result benefited league leaders Barcelona, who defeated Leganes 3-1 on Saturday with a hat trick by Lionel Messi. Barcelona have an 11-point lead over Atletico at the top of the standings with seven matches left.

Atletico won La Liga in 2013-14 but have finished third behind either Barcelona and Real Madrid in all other years since 2012-13, which was the team’s first full season under coach Diego Simeone.

Madrid have not finished worse than second since 2014, when they trailed Atletico and Barcelona. The other time they failed to finish in the top two was in 2003-04, when they finished fourth behind Valencia, Barcelona and Deportivo La Coruna.

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Ronaldo opened the scoring early in the second half with a shot from near the far post after a long cross by Gareth Bale from the left flank.

Griezmann equalized less than five minutes later with a strike from near the penalty spot after a move started by Vitolo inside the area.

Ronaldo had scored 20 goals in his last 10 matches in all competitions, including his acclaimed bicycle kick in the 3-0 first-leg win at Juventus in the Champions League quarterfinals midweek.

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane rested some of his regular starters ahead of the return leg against Juventus on Wednesday at Bernabeu, including midfielders Luka Modric and Casemiro. Striker Karim Benzema also started from the bench, replacing Ronaldo in the 64th.

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