Atletico and Real Madrid draw first derby at Metropolitano
By TALES AZZONI
Nov. 18, 2017
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona was the team celebrating at the end of the first derby between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
The Madrid rivals played to a scoreless draw at Atletico's new venue on Saturday, leaving both teams further away from the Catalan club at the top of the Spanish league.
Barcelona won at Leganes 3-0 earlier and ended the day 10 points in front of the Madrid clubs after 12 matches. The thriving Catalan club is seven points in front of second-place Valencia, which will try to extend its seven-game winning streak at Espanyol on Sunday.
The draw extended Atletico's winless run at its new home to five matches. It drew three straight entering this weekend. Diego Simeone's team has won only two of its last 10 games in all competitions.
Both teams will have to remain nearly perfect for the rest of the season to try to catch up to Barcelona, which has won 11 of its 12 league matches.
"We deserved more," Real coach Zinedine Zidane said. "In the end we couldn't get the goal, but I'm not worried. I'm sure Barca will lose points as well. We have to keep doing our part. It's a big difference but that's going to change."
It was tense between Real and Atletico from the start, with hard fouls from both sides.
Real had control for most of the game but was not able to create many significant chances.
"The draw was a fair result," Simeone said.
Atletico had one of its best opportunities early when forward Angel Correa entered the area free of markers and only goalkeeper Kiko Casilla to beat but shot wide.
Substitute Kevin Gameiro also came close in the second half, but his shot over Casilla was cleared by Real defender Raphael Varane in front of the goal-line.
Real threatened with a few runs by Isco and a couple of free kicks taken by Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo still has only one score in La Liga.
Atletico's Antoine Griezmann, who has three goals in 14 matches in all competitions, was jeered when he was replaced by Fernando Torres near the end.
Real defender Sergio Ramos had to be replaced at halftime after breaking his nose when he was struck by Atletico defender Lucas Hernandez.
SUAREZ BACK TO FORM
Luis Suarez scored twice to end a five-match scoring drought in Barcelona's win.
The Uruguay striker found the net in each half and substitute midfielder Paulinho scored late to give the Catalan club its 11th win.
Suarez opened the scoring after Leganes goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar dropped the ball in front of the goal after a cross by Paco Alcacer. Suarez's second in the 60th was a rebound shot after Cuellar parried a shot by Lionel Messi. Suarez hadn't scored in more than a month.
"What mattered to me was that I was feeling good and was helping the team, and today the goals helped us get the three points against a difficult rival," Suarez said. "We always try to play better, but it's not always possible."
Paulinho sealed the victory in the 90th after a pass by Messi, who was on the ground fighting for the ball when he tipped it back to the midfielder.
Leganes, playing only in its second season in the first division, wore a specially designed purple shirt to promote the fight against gender violence.
"We had our opportunities, but in the end we knew that we were playing against the best team in the world, and with very little they can score on you," Leganes midfielder Ruben Perez said.
Sevilla recovered from its loss to Barcelona in the previous round by beating Celta Vigo 2-1 to move back to fifth place. It was the fourth win in five matches for Sevilla in all competitions.
Getafe defeated Alaves 4-1 at home, handing Alavces a 10th league loss.
"Our performance was embarrassing," Alaves coach Gianni De Biasi said.
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