Derby de­light for Real

Deccan Chronicle - - Sport -

Madrid, Feb. 10: Thibaut Cour­tois over­came the jeers — and a bar­rage of toy rats — while Gareth Bale de­liv­ered a timely re­minder of his talents as Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid 3-1 in a feisty city derby on Satur­day.

Real’s fifth league win in a row means they sit sec­ond for the first time since Septem­ber, above Atletico, and just five points be­hind Barcelona.

Barca could re­store the gap to eight by over­com­ing Ath­letic Bil­bao on Sun­day but an­other im­pres­sive per­for­mance at the Wanda Metropoli­tano, aided by some for­tu­nate de­ci­sions, puts Real back in the thick of the ti­tle race.

“We will al­ways fight un­til the end,” Real coach San­ti­ago So­lari said. “We have to keep go­ing like this.”

Bale had been left out of the start­ing line-up for the sec­ond time in four days, af­ter he was also a sub­sti­tute against the Cata­lans in the Copa del Rey on Wed­nes­day.

The Welsh­man’s goal, his 100th for Real Madrid, was not lost on So­lari, even if his cel­e­bra­tion raised eye­brows, af­ter he ap­peared to make an in­sult­ing ges­ture to­wards the Atletico fans.

Bale’s fin­ish ended their hopes of a come­back af­ter Ser­gio Ramos’ penalty put Real in front at half-time, with An­toine Griez­mann ear­lier can­celling out Casemiro’s ac­ro­batic opener.

“It’s great for Gareth,” So­lari said. “He was very happy and happy about his goal, which helped de­cide the game, be­cause the game was alive and he fin­ished it.”

— AP

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale cel­e­brates af­ter scor­ing against Atletico Madrid in their La Liga match at the Metropoli­tano Sta­dium in Madrid on Satur­day.

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