In a derby marked by video review, Real Madrid defeated Atletico Madrid 3-1 on Saturday to overcome the city rival in the Spanish league standings and return to second place for the first time since September.
An overhead kick by Casemiro, a penalty kick converted by Sergio Ramos, and a second-half goal by Gareth Bale led Real Madrid to its fifth straight league win.
Antoine Griezmann scored for Atletico, which lost at home for the first time this season.
Griezmann’s goal was initially disallowed for offside but the VAR reversed the call. Video review also had to be used to confirm the penalty that led to Ramos’ goal just before halftime, and to verify another offside call that disallowed a second-half equalizer by former Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata. It was also used when Morata wanted a penalty call — not awarded — later in the game.
Real Madrid has moved to within five points of leader Barcelona, which visits Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Real Madrid hasn’t been this high in the standings since the seventh round.
Atletico, which was coming off its first league loss since the third round, stayed six points off the lead.
The host played a man down from the 80th minute after midfielder Thomas Partey was sent off for a second yellow card.
The city rivals drew their last four league matchups, and Real Madrid’s last win against Atletico was nearly two years ago in the Champions League semifinals.
Saturday’s match was even when Casemiro opened the scoring with his 16th-minute overhead kick from close range after Atletico’s defense could not fully clear a corner kick cross into the area.
Griezmann equalized less than 10 minutes later by sending a shot underneath goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in a one-on-one situation created after Real Madrid forward Vinicius Juniors lost the ball in the attack. It took a while for the video review to reverse the offside call that initially disallowed the goal, keeping fans at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium from being able to celebrate.
The VAR then helped Real Madrid by confirming a penalty decision after Vinicius Junior made a great run down the left side and was brought down from behind by Jose Maria Gimenez just inside the area. Ramos converted the 42nd-minute penalty.
Atletico thought it equalized again early in the second half after Morata — playing against his former club for the first time since joining Atletico — scored with a shot over Courtois, but he was immediately ruled offside and the VAR confirmed the call.
Madrid sealed the win with Bale’s low shot after a pass by Luka Modric in the 74th. Bale, who replaced Vinicius Junior earlier in the second half, provoked the Atletico crowd during his celebration near one of the sidelines.
Courtois, who used to play for Atletico, was loudly jeered from the start. Atletico fans threw stuffed rats toward the goalkeeper from behind one of the goals.
GETAFE NEAR THE TOP
Ten-man Getafe defeated Celta Vigo 3-1 to move closer to the Champions League qualification places.
The home victory left the southern Madrid club in fifth place, one point behind Sevilla.
Getafe conceded two minutes into the match but rebounded despite playing a man down from the 37th because of a red card to forward Maxi Gomez. All three Getafe goals came after the red card.
Celta, sitting 16th, could end the weekend in the relegation zone depending on other results.