Atletico Madrid record league win at Bernabeu for second season running
Arda Turan scores winner in 2-1 victory over city rivals Real Madrid
Barcelona maintain 100% start to season with 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao
They have long played second fiddle to their more illustrious city rivals, but Atletico Madrid took another giant step out of Real Madrid’s shadow on Saturday with a 2-1 win at the Bernabeu.
La Liga’s reigning champions are proving just as formidable opposition this year as they were last with Diego Simeone’s men stealing all three points in Real’s backyard for the second successive season.
Tiago gave Atletico the lead in the 10th minute redirecting Koke’s corner past Iker Casillas to silence the home crowd before parity was restored from a familiar source 16 minutes later.
Guilherme Siqueira was Cristiano Ronaldo’s fall guy on this occasion as the left back stuck out a leg as the Portuguese surged into the penalty area.
The referee pointed to the spot and Ronaldo duly converted sending Miguel Angel Moya the wrong way to tie up the match at 1-1.
Real proceeded to dominate the rest of the half but Atletico weathered the storm with Moya pulling off a notable point-blank save from a Karim Benzema header in the 38th minute.
The deadlock in an evenly contested second half was finally broken by the visitors with 14 minutes remaining when a Raul Garcia dummy left subsitute Turan (who replaced captain Gabi in the 60th minute) to sweep home a low shot into the left corner of Casillas’ net.
Real’s efforts to salvage something from the game ultimately came to nothing leaving the European champions pondering a second successive league defeat.
“It is a problem,” Ancelotti said after the match. “We have to analyse it in the next few days and fix it quickly.
“The first-half was good like (it was against Real Sociedad) and the second-half wasn’t. We played with intensity and aggression in the first-half which is what you have to do to beat Atletico, but we didn’t do that in the second-half.”
For the Italian’s opposite number it was another day at the Bernabeu to savor.
“I think it is the first time we have won twice in a row in the league at the Bernabeu and that is very important for our fans and a new group of players,” Simeone said.
“We still have difficulties ahead to have the consistency we want, but with the work rate they showed and the play they showed in the second-half I am happy.”
Victory lifts Atletico to second in the table with seven points while Real are currently 11th with three points from three matches.
Real begin the defense of their Champions League crown on Tuesday with a home tie against Swiss side FC Basel while Atletico travel to Greece to play Olympiacos.
Barca continue perfect start
Barcelona maintained their 100% start to the new season but left it late to seal all three points against Athletic Bilbao at the Nou Camp earlier on Saturday.
Neymar came off the bench to score a brace in the final 10 minutes of the match to make it three league wins out of three for new manager Luis Enrique.
For the first time in their history, Barcelona played a home match in red and yellow away kit which features the colors of the Catalan flag – the Senyera – to mark the 300th anniversary of Catalan National Day which took place on Thursday.
A giant flag was also unfurled in the stadium prior to kick off.
The anniversary, which comes just days before Scotland votes to decide whether to remain part of the UK, has fueled calls from many Catalans for their own referendum on independence to be held.
Both Barca and Bilbao kick off their Champions League campaigns next week. Messi and Co will host Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia on Wednesday while Athletic will entertain Ukraine’s champions Shakhtar Donetsk.