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01.12.2012 » Real Madrid 2-0 Atletico Madrid. Ronaldo made the difference

Cristiano Ronaldo hero at the Santiago Bernabéu for Real Madrid, in 2012-2013

Atletico Madrid suffered their second loss in the league this season, after visting the Santiago Bernabéu and being beaten by Real Madrid by 2-0. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opener from a long free-kick strike still in the 1st half and assisted Mesut Ozil for the Merengues' second goal of the night.

It wouldn't be a true derby if it hadn't been disputed with the intensity levels set as high as they were this Saturday night. Real Madrid hosted and defeated Atletico Madrid by 2-0, closing the gap to the Colchoneros to 5 points, while Barça will remain 11 points ahead, after having also won their league game. The man of the match was Cristiano Ronaldo, who finally returned to a game scoresheet, after bagging his first free-kick goal of the season, as he gave the lead to the home side with roughly 15 minutes played in the first half. The Merengues would still reach their 2nd goal after the break, this time with Ronaldo assisting Mesut Ozil for a left foot strike, in a classic fast counter-attack play. With 1 goal and 1 assist, Ronaldo found himself very close to score in two other occasions later in the game, but first he hit the woordwork in a free-kick close to the edge of the area and then, in a typical Real Madrid attack near the end of the game, the Portuguese left-foot shot smashed into the right post.

Cristiano Ronaldo game photos in Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid
2-0 Atletico Madrid goals and highlights:

Atletico Madrid's initial game plan was to pressure high and try to cut down spaces, in order to force Real Madrid to be unable of passing the ball around the pitch. With every player being marked very closely, there was barely any space left on the field for any player to control a ball and have enough time to decide the best action to take next. The Colchoneros coach, Diego Simeone, had clearly instructed his players to play and fight hard for every loose ball and we can't say we are surprised when we look at the 22 fouls made by the visitors side during this game, as well as for the 5 yellow cards shown to Atletico players. Big derbies are not to be taken softly and what typically happens is that whoever manages to have the best emotional control in the key moments of the game, ends up carrying a big advantage to come on top at the end.

Cristiano Ronaldo helping Radamel Falcao to stand up, in Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, for the Spanish League La Liga, in 2012-2013

During the first quart of an hour, none of the teams at the Santiago Bernabéu were able to put on a good performance on the pitch, mostly due to the constant disputes between the players. One of the turning points in this game took place precisely at after the first 15 minutes, when Cristiano Ronaldo forced Arda Turan to deflect a ball with his right hand and managed to earn a free-kick, still far from Atletico's goal. Despite the bad free-kick conversion rate over the past months, Cristiano Ronaldo took a deep breath and striked the ball with tremendous confidence, making it 1-0 for the home side. The strenght and accuracy of the shot surprised many people in the stadium, including Atletico's goalkeeper Curtois, as well as Real Madrid captain, Iker Casillas. The Spanish goalkeeper's reaction to Ronaldo goal was a bit awkward to say the least, as he barely moved a foot and showed some weird facial expressions, making it very hard to understand his true emotions on that moment.

Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick goal in Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, for the Spanish League La Liga, in 2012-2013

However, the important thing was that Real Madrid had grabbed the lead and Atletico Madrid would have to change their game from that point onwards, if they were planning to create more problems to the Merengues' defense. Half-time reached 30 minutes later and Real Madrid headed back to the dressing rooms with a precious one goal lead, thanks to that free-kick goal from Ronaldo. The last goal scored by the Portuguese forward from set-pieces dated back to April 11, in a game precisely against Atletico Madrid, but at the Vicente Calderón.

Simeone naturally decided to take more risks in the second half and the game opened up a bit more when comparing to the first 45 minutes. However, it was Real Madrid who benefited more from these new games circumstances, as they were the side who have always been closer to score more goals during the course of the second half of this game.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating goal near the Santiago Bernabéu stands, with Benzema, Sami Khedira, Pepe and Xabi Alonso, in 2012-2013

With 65 minutes played, Real Madrid finally extended their lead in a counter-attack play initiated from a long ball sent by Angel di María. The Argentinian pass found Karim Benzema on the center of the pitch, who then quickly left the ball to Cristiano Ronaldo with a nifty back-heel touch. The Portuguese star tried to return the gesture to the Frenchman, but saw his first pass being blocked, leaving him with almost no other option but to look for another teammate near him. He spotted Mesut Ozil with plenty of space on his right and quickly passed the ball to the German playmaker. Ozil first touch wasn't brilliant, but still, he found a way to strike and make the ball get past Courtois', scoring the second goal for the Merengues this Saturday night.

Ronaldo would still get a few more opportunities to put Real Madrid with a more comfortable lead, but he hit the framework twice, first from another free-kick and then in a left-foot shot, from a narrow angle. The game would quickly drag to its end and Atletico Madrid left the Santiago Bernabéu without really leaving the impression that they have done all they could to put Real Madrid into trouble. The surprising small amount of 3 shots at the end of the game sums up the Colchoneros attacking firepower this Saturday night and it's certainly a good illustration of the lack of ambition showed by the visiting side. As a consequence from this, Radamel Falcao failed on his task of scoring against Iker Casillas and is now two goals below Cristiano Ronaldo and 10 below Barcelona's Lionel Messi, in La Liga top goalscorers standings. Real Madrid remains third in the Spanish League, 5 points below Atletico Madrid and 11 under the leaders, Barcelona.

Cristiano Ronaldo big hug to Mesut Ozil, in Real Madrid 2012-2013

Real Madrid line-up vs Atletico Madrid:

Goalkeeper: Casillas
Defenders: Fábio Coentrão, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Arbeloa
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Khedira, Ozil
Attackers: Angel di María, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema

Match stats provided by
Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid
Shots on goal
Corner kicks
Fouls commited
Yellow cards
Red cards
Ball possession

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Real Madrid will be against Ajax at the Santiago Bernabéu, for the UEFA Champions League final group fixture, next Tuesday (04-12-2012). You can watch Juventus live stream, Real Madrid vs Ajax, PSG vs FC Porto, Borussia Dortmund vs Manchester City, and Norwich vs Sunderland, all matches provided from our soccer live section.

Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs Ajax
kick-off time (04-12-2012):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+8: 02:45
(Madrid) | GMT+2: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+1: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-1: 17:45
New York (United States) | GMT-4: 14:45
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-7: 11:45
Beijing (China) | GMT-7: 11:45

Sources: / /

Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Xabi Alonso big celebrations, after the opening goal in Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick stance and concentration, in Real Madrid 2-0 Atletico Madrid, for La Liga 2012-2013

Mesut Ozil running around the Santiago Bernabéu to celebrate his goal in Real Madrid 2-0 Atletico Madrid, in 2012-2013

Radamel Falcao and Sergio Ramos arguing and fighting in Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, in 2012-2013

Xabi Alonso and Radamel Falcao saluting each other, in Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, for La Liga 2012-2013

The Santiago Bernabéu fully packed for a derby night game, between Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, in La Liga 2012-2013

Mesut Ozil pointing to Real Madrid badge and symbol, as he celebrates a goal against Atletico Madrid, in 2012-2013

Mesut Ozil volley goal in Real Madrid 2-0 Atletico Madrid, in La Liga 2012-2013

José Mourinho and Diego Simeone stepping up to the pitch together as friends, in Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, in 2012-2013

Cristiano Ronaldo perfect ball control in Real Madrid 2-0 Atletico Madrid, for La Liga 2012-2013

Cristiano Ronaldo screaming and yelling, in Real Madrid 2012-2013

Cristiano Ronaldo happy in Real Madrid, after scoring and celebrating his goal against Atletico Madrid, in La Liga 2012-2013

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