A sublime Real Madrid team dominated at the Vincente Calderon, winning against Atletico Madrid by 3-0 thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.
The Portuguese captain who had gone 33 shots without beating Atletico keeper Jan Oblak, ended the streak with a deflected free-kick which wrong-footed the Slovenian.
Ronaldo then added a second from the penalty spot after being fouled by Stefan Savic, before completing his treble by tapping in Gareth Bale’s cross.
Real Madrid’s undisputed top scorer, Ronaldo would also level his goal tally with Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at eight La Liga goals. Additionally, he goes one goal of clear of legendary Real forward Alfredo Di Stefano’s individual total of 17 goals in the Madrid derby.
Credit also goes to Real manager Zinedine Zidane, who has often been branded a ‘lucky’ manager by some.
However, the Frenchman showed strategic acumen as Real advanced to 29 games unbeaten. Knowing that his team often get crowded out in midfield against Atletico and their runs, Madrid began with something close to a 4-4-2. “The middle is fundamental,” Zidane admitted.
It payed off, and the result of what was the last La Liga Madrid derby at the Vicente Calderon could also be a blow to Atletico’s title hopes –Diego Simeone’s side is now nine points adrift of table leaders Real.
Since the Argentinian took charge, Atletico had been beaten by Real only once in 11. Defeat was possible, but a resounding defeat like this was more than unexpected.
Meanwhile, Los Blancos will also widen the gap against their fiercest rivals FC Barcelona to four points. The Catalan giants could not manage to find a way past Malaga just hours before, and looked lacking going up front without Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, needing even defender Gerard Pique to move forward during the dying minutes.