Atletico Madrid 1-1 Real Madrid: Los Blancos Denied By Late Luciano Vietto Strike
Luciano Vietto was Atletico Madrid’s supersub in the derby against Real Madrid, with the young Argentinian leaving it late to cancel out Karim Benzema’s goal and rescue a point for the hosts.
Summer signing Vietto, 21, scored his first goal for Atletico in the 83rd minute at the Vicente Calderon to deny Real top spot in the Primera Division as the match finished 1-1.
Los Blancos had taken an early lead through Karim Benzema and managed to stay in front in the first half despite the hosts being awarded a penalty, with Keylor Navas producing an excellent save to keep out Antoine Griezmann’s spot-kick.
The Costa Rica goalkeeper also produced a vital late save to deny Vietto’s fellow substitute Jackson Martinez a winning goal, but Real will still see this as an opportunity missed to go top, with leaders Villarreal and arch-rivals Barcelona both losing this weekend.
Instead, Rafael Benitez’s side have to settle for second spot, one point behind Villarreal, going into the international break, while Atletico stay fifth.
Atletico thrashed Real 4-0 in this fixture last season but Benitez had a plan to ensure the visitors would not meet the same fate this time around, employing defensive midfielder Casemiro ahead of Mateo Kovacic.
The Brazilian expertly stifled Atletico’s creativity, although Real were also unable to find many openings, and before Vietto’s leveller the two teams had managed just one attempt on target each – Benzema’s goal and Griezmann’s missed penalty.
Cristiano Ronaldo had Real’s first effort, heading off target with just two minutes gone, but his strike partner Benzema had more joy with their next attempt in the air.
Dani Carvajal freed himself from Filipe Luis down the right flank and sent a high ball into the box, and Benzema rose unchallenged to head home from nine yards.
Atletico’s most lively player was Angel Correa. The Argentinian skewed wide of goal before Benzema scored and played a part in winning the penalty.
He combined with Oliver Torres and the ball fell into the path of Tiago Mendes, who was upended inside the area by a lunging Sergio Ramos, making his first appearance since recovering from a shoulder injury. Fortunately for Ramos, who had also given the ball away to spark the Atletico attack, Navas guessed correctly and flung himself to the left to beat away Griezmann’s penalty.
Ronaldo was not far off from doubling the lead shortly before the break, but his free-kick flew over the crossbar.
A key moment in the game also arrived before half-time, with Carvajal forced off injured and replaced by the less vibrant Alvaro Arbeloa, who was culpable for Atletico’s equaliser.
The 32-year-old was beaten by Martinez on the left wing and the Colombian was able to cross towards Griezmann, who in turn sent the ball towards the back post for second-half replacement Vietto to bundle it in.
Martinez then had a chance to win it in injury time, but again Navas came to Real’s rescue.