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Atlético Madrid 1-2 Real Madrid: Blancos Continue Unbeaten Derbi Run

First half goals from the on-form Karim Benzema and Mesut Özil saw Real Madrid continue their remarkable run in the Derbi Madrileño despite a nerve-wracking final push by Atléti.  This is Real's fourth win already against los Colchoneros this season, with the city rivals having met twice in the league and in a two-legged match in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey.  In fact, Atléti have not won against Madrid in the league since 1999, and given their disastrous form this season overturning that record always seemed beyond them.

Mourinho opted to play a form of 4-3-3 or 4-3-2-1, with Angel di María relegated to the substitutes' bench and Lass starting in his place.  Mourinho claimed after the game that this was designed to help his side control the game better given their low energy levels after their midweek exertions against Lyon.  Ronaldo inexplicably started despite clearly needing a little more time to reach full fitness, and the Portuguese never really looked back to his mercurial self.

Los Merengues started very well, with the first chance coming just six minutes into the game.  Benzema slid a superb ball through for Sami Khedira, playing him on against the young de Gea, but the German was unable to steer his shot past the keeper.

Early goals have often characterized recent derbies between the two sides, and this was no exception.  In the 11th minute, Khedira returned the earlier favor by controlling the ball on the break, taking one touch, and then sending a magnificent ball through for Benzema on the left side of the box with the outside of his foot.  The Frenchman, in incredible form as of late, made no mistake with a chipped finish over the keeper to make it 1-0 to the away side.

After Madrid had opened the scoring, however, Atléti began to take control of the match.  In the 20th minute, Kun Agüero picked up a pass on the edge of the box and lashed a low drive at goal, which Casillas tipped around the post.

Just as Atléti began to dominate in search of an equalizer, los Vikingos doubled their account.  On 33 minutes, Marcelo beat his marker down the left before cutting the ball back to Özil at the edge of the box, who curled his first-time shot into the roof of the net.  De Gea managed to get a hand on it, but was clearly surprised by the speed of the move which left him little time to react.

The Rojiblancos came out explosively in the second half, no doubt inspired by a vigorous team talk, and had a number of chances.  Casillas made a number of key saves, notably from Agüero one-on-one in the 54th minute.  Madrid had their chances as well, with Ronaldo and Benzema combining well before the Frenchman released the Portuguese one-on-one inside the box, but the ball was just overhit and Ronaldo only managed to hit the side-netting from the narrow angle he was afforded.

Atléti continued to attack until the bitter end, managing a goal in the 86th minute to make matters more interesting, with Agüero, the home side's best player on the night, playing a one-two with Koke before putting the ball past Casillas.  Madrid managed to see the game out without further incident, however, and took the three points on the night to keep them within touching distance of Barcelona, who had a poor game against Getafe despite their 2-1 win, and could well have drawn if Casquero's shot had been a foot either side of the keeper instead of straight at Valdes.  

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