Cristiano Ronaldo rescued a point for Real Madrid during the Madrid derby at Atletico on Sunday. The home team seemed destined to take all three points until Ronaldo’s first-time shot from a Gareth Bale touch leveled the score at 2-2 with just eight minutes remaining. Atleti, which had gone into the break with the lead thanks to fine goals from Koke and Gabi following Karim Benzema’s early opener, had two penalty appeals from Diego Costa denied during a fiery encounter.
After the game, Real coach Carlo Ancelotti lamented Atleti’s “violent” approach to the game. “I mean Atletico tried to play a violent match, not our style,” the Italian said. “[Our response] was just to play, to think only of playing and not other things. We must take the draw. It was a difficult game. We tried to play but it was not so easy.”
Meanwhile, Atletico coach Diego Simeone said the draw meant that his team’s title challenge is “still alive.” The Argentine told his press conference: “We went behind but reacted really well. We started to play between the lines, press them on the shoulder and create chances. In the second half we were good. We had opportunities but couldn’t find the final pass to make it 3-1. The team put in great work. I’m proud of the squad, the men who play against everything.”
The draw left Ancelotti’s men in first place, one point ahead of Barcelona, which beat Almeria 4-1 at home on Sunday, and three points ahead of Atletico Madrid, with 12 games to play.