Real Madrid victorious as Bale scores his 100th goal
The pressure was on Real as they made the short journey to the Wanda Metropolitano stadium to face Atletico in this afternoon's Madrid derby, just days after their Clasico clash with Barcelona which finished 1-1. However, the team showed no signs of fatigue as Casemiro drew first blood for Real Madrid after 15 minutes. Toni Kroos whipped a cross in from the corner flag which Sergio Ramos flicked onto Casemiro who managed to pull off a brilliant bicycle kick to take his team 1-0 up.
It wasn't too long though, before Griezmann brought it level for Atletico as he fired one past Courtois. The referee consulted VAR to check the striker wasn't offside but the goal stood. That wasn't all for the first-half action as Real Madrid found themselves with a penalty on the stroke of half-time. Again, the referee called on VAR to confirm his decision to give a penalty over a free-kick as Gimenez brought Vinicius down right at the edge of the area.
Sergio Ramos lined up to take the penalty and, despite diving the right way, Oblak was unable to stop Ramos' spot kick. That took the score to 1-2 to Real as we entered half-time.
Within 10 minutes of the restart, Atletico had a goal disallowed as Morata thought he had equalised for the home side. Ramos chased Morata's lob over Courtois but was unable to stop it from crossing the line. However, this was one of several occasions in which the referee called on VAR to confirm his decision, and in this case, the goal was disallowed as Morata was deemed offside.
The following 20 minutes saw yellow cards dished out left, right and centre for both teams and it seemed only a matter of time before someone saw red. In the meantime, Gareth Bale, who hasn't made a start for Real for a while, came off the bench to score his long-awaited 100th goal for Real Madrid. Vinicius Jr, who has recently been favoured over Bale by Solari, graciously congratualed and celebrated Bale's goal.
Shortly afterwards, the referee brandished yet another yellow card, this time for Thomas. Since it was his second bookable offence he had to go, receiving the only red of the game (surprisingly!) and taking Atletico down to 10 men. A few more substitutions saw the game out and Real Madrid head back to the Santiago Bernebeu with the three points in hand.
The victory means Solari's team are just five points behind league leaders Barcelona, who face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday 10th February at 20:45pm.