Real Madrid pip Atletico Madrid to stretch unbeaten streak to 21 games
Real Madrid twisted the knife into their wounded rivals Atletico Madrid as Karim Benzema sealed a 1-0 home win in the Madrid Derby last Saturday, and underlined their La Liga title credentials.
Benzema's 56th-minute goal gave Real their first league win over their neighbours at the Santiago Bernabeu since 2012 and piled more pressure on Atleti boss Diego Simeone, whose side have lost four of their last five matches in all competitions.
Real, who are now unbeaten in 21 straight games in all competitions, increased their lead over Barcelona at the top of the table to six points. But Barca can reduce the margin by half if they beat Levante this morning.
Atletico sit outside the Champions League places in sixth, 13 points behind their city rivals.
Alvaro Morata's second-half substitution swelled Atletico's list of injured players to seven, less than three weeks before they are due to host holders Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League.
"Of course we are worried," Simeone said.
"We need to keep working so we can improve. We've got players who will come back from injury soon and they will help us to start competing again."
The Argentine has transformed Atletico's fortunes during his tenure, including four wins at the Bernabeu, but on this occasion, Simeone was subjected to mocking chants.
Near the final, Real fans bellowed: "Simeone please stay".
Said Real coach Zinedine Zidane: "A derby is always special and complicated.
"It has taken a lot out of us, against a team that defend very well and feel comfortable defending."- REUTERS