Real Madrid beat city rival Atletico Madrid 2-0 to tighten the Spanish league title race on Saturday, dealing the leader its first loss in the competition in 10 months.
Casemiro opened the scoring for Zinedine Zidane’s team in the 15th minute. A long strike by Dani Carvajal, that ricocheted off the post and the back of goalkeeper Jan Oblak before going in, sealed the victory midway through the second half.
Atletico entered the match at Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium with the chance to damage Madrid’s title defense. Instead, Madrid was able to move to within three points of Atletico, climbing into third place with one of its most complete performances this campaign.
Atletico still has a game in hand, but the loss also gives second-place Real Sociedad the opportunity to move ahead when it hosts Eibar on Sunday.
Atletico had not lost in 26 straight league matches, dating back to Feb. 1 when it fell 1-0 at Madrid.
Atletico had only conceded two goals in the entire 10 league matches it had played this season. It had won seven straight.
But despite its irregular season with unexpected losses to smaller rivals, Madrid was up to the challenge against another high-profile opponent.