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18 July 2024

Ronaldo rescues a point for Real in Madrid derby

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (left) executes a free kick during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Real Madrid CF at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on March 2, 2014. (AFP)


Cristiano Ronaldo struck eight minutes from time to rescue a point for Real Madrid in a 2-2 draw away to city rivals Atletico on Sunday in a typically fiery La Liga derby.

Atletico had fought back to lead 2-1 and were closing in on a first home win against Real in nearly 15 years before Ronaldo pounced on a loose ball and fired into the corner to maintain Real's three-point advantage over their neighbours at the top.

It was the Portugal forward's 23rd goal of the campaign and extended Real's unbeaten run to 28 matches, stretching back to a 2-1 reverse away to champions Barcelona at the end of October.

Real have 64 points, with Atletico second on 61 and Barca, who host promoted Almeria later on Sunday (2000 GMT), in third on 60.

Real started the game brightly and were ahead after only three minutes when Karim Benzema stole in unmarked and poked a cross from Angel Di Maria past Thibaut Courtois from close range.

Benzema and Ronaldo, the league's leading scorer, each tested Courtois again before clever work from Atletico's Turkish playmaker Arda Turan led to the equaliser in the 28th minute.

After twisting and turning on the edge of the Real penalty area, Arda threaded a pass through to Koke and his powerful low shot flew into the corner past Diego Lopez.

Captain Gabi scored the best goal of the game moments before halftime to put the home side ahead, with a 30-metre screamer that flew past Lopez.

Real gradually turned the screw as Atletico tired in the second half and it was little surprise when a defensive lapse led to Ronaldo's late equaliser.