Benzema, Asensio tally in Real Madrid’s 2-0 win over Atletico

Madrid, Dec 12 (EFE).- Real Madrid’s overwhelming offensive, added to Atletico Madrid’s defensive instability, tilted the balance to a 2-0 win for the league leaders in the Spanish capital derby on Sunday with goals by Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio on two assists by Vinicius, increasing to 13 points the team’s ranking advantage over its capital rival – and the former champions – for this year’s La Liga title.

The rivalry between the two capital teams played out once again in the usual manner – Madrid’s firm play against Atletico’s rather amorphous effort – and it was the 10th consecutive win, seven of them coming in La Liga action, for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

Real Madrid was on solid ground – and on home turf – on Sunday, and, with Luka Modric instrumental at all levels during the contest, clearly dominated the match, and although there had been some doubts about whether Benzema was healthy enough to take the pitch, he did start and, in fact, scored the first goal after a mistake, when Koke’s pass was stymied by Modric and Vinicius drove in from the right sending the ball to Benzema, who easily tallied for the 1-0 in the 16th minute.

After besting his yearly goal-scoring record with 36, however, the Frenchman retired to the bench for the remainder of the contest.

There matters stood at the break, and it wasn’t until the 58th minute that Asensio made it 2-0, again on a lovely and defense-surprising assist by the 21-year-old phenomenon called Vinicius, but all the way through there seemed to be very little likelihood that Atletico would – or could – get themselves together to threaten Real Madrid’s lead.

Atletico clearly had to overcome a set of obstacles that proved to be insurmountable. Luis Suarez was not among the starting 11 and only came into the match after Madrid’s second goal. Manager Diego Simeone sent in Joao Felix and Thomas Lemar for Antoine Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco at the break, but nothing seemed to work.

With the win, Barcelona is now 18 points behind Real Madrid, an almost insurmountable gap, after battling to a 2-2 draw against lowly Osasuna earlier on Sunday, and the team’s nearest challenger for the championship trophy – Sevilla, who hasn’t won a La Liga title sinde 1946 – is eight points behind.

Vinicius, meanwhile, was awarded the La Liga trophy for best player of the month for November.


Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal (Nacho, m.81), Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Marco Asensio (Fede Valverde, m.85), Vinicius (Rodrygo, m.87) and Benzema (Jovic, m.46).

Atletico de Madrid: Oblak; Marcos Llorente, Felipe, Kondogbia, Mario Hermoso; Correa (Luis Suarez, m.60), Koke, De Paul (Herrera, m.69), Carrasco (Lemar, m.46); Griezmann (Joao Felix, m.46) and Cunha (Lodi, m.60).

EFE rmm/ism/bp

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