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LaLiga: Real Madrid Claim Bragging Rights as They Return to Title Race

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Real Madrid beat bitter rivals Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano for the first time, as Gareth Bale’s 100th goal for the club helped secure a 3-1 win to move them up to second in LaLiga.

Los Blancos claimed a morale-boosting 1-1 draw at Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semi-final first leg on Wednesday and they produced another resilient display to beat Diego Simeone’s men on their own turf for the first time since their meeting at the Vicente Calderon in November 2016.

Atletico conceded twice in the first half at the Wanda for the first time, as Sergio Ramos’ penalty added to Casemiro’s spectacular opener after Antoine Griezmann had equalised, with a little thanks to VAR. 

Madrid looked in control at the back under pressure in the second half and finished off their opponents 16 minutes from time through substitute Bale’s landmark goal, before Thomas Partey’s late sending off. 

A fluid Madrid looked bright in the early stages and deservedly went ahead 16 minutes in – Casemiro producing a brilliant bicycle kick to beat Jan Oblak after Ramos nudged the ball on from a corner. 

Atletico responded well and leveled nine minutes later, as Angel Correa contentiously robbed Vinicius Junior and fed Griezmann, who beat the offside trap and slotted through Thibaut Courtois’ legs. 

But Ramos restored the lead just before the break, confidently dispatching a penalty into the bottom-left corner after Jose Gimenez clumsily tripped Vinicius, with VAR adjudging it to have happened just inside the box.

Atletico thought they had equalised when Alvaro Morata lifted the ball over Courtois and into the net in the 54th minute, but VAR proved he was marginally offside.

And Madrid took full advantage in the 74th minute, as Bale – who replaced Vinicius before the hour mark – raced on to Luka Modric’s pass and fired across Oblak into the bottom-right corner.

Atletico’s fate was sealed with 10 minutes remaining when Thomas received a second booking for catching Toni Kroos.

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