Clinical Real take the spoils in the Madrid derby to continue the perfect start

MADRID: Clinically Real Madrid extended their perfect start to the La Liga season as they defeated city rivals Atlético 2-1 at the Metropolitano on Sunday (18 September).

Despite being second best for much of the first half, Carlo Ancelotti’s side were ruthless in front of goal as Rodrygo and Federico Valverde put them in the lead. Mario Hermoso scored a late goal for the hosts but they failed to equalize.

Diego Simeone’s side made a strong start, getting close through defenders Felipe and Yannick Carrasco, but fell behind when Rodrygo emphatically completed the visitors’ first shot on goal in the 18th minute.

It was a goal that mostly came from nowhere as Aurelien Tchouameni caught the home side’s defense with a pass over the top and allowed the Brazilian to head home with the half-volley.

Antoine Griezmann forced a save from Real keeper Thibaut Courtois as the hosts tried to hit back, but Madrid doubled their lead with their next shot on target when Valverde fired in from close range after Vinicius’ shot ricocheted off the post.

Atletico set up a grandstand finish with a header from substitute Hermoso seven minutes from time after a rare mistake by Courtois, who misjudged a cross, before the defender was sent off for a second bookable injury-time offense and Real took the points fetched.

The win means Real return to the top of the LaLiga table with 18 points from six games, two ahead of second-place Barcelona. Atlético is seventh, eight points behind their neighbors.