Rival watch: Atlético defeat Real Madrid, Arsenal lose at Old Trafford

Rival watch: Atlético defeat Real Madrid, Arsenal lose at Old Trafford

Diego Simeone's side maintain title push but Los Blancos lose further ground after Zinedine Zidane's first defeat in charge

Atlético Madrid earned a 1-0 win over rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu to narrow the gap at the top to five points before FC Barcelona play on Sunday, while Los Blancos could end the week 12 points adrift of the Catalans.

[[DES_1]]A second half strike from Antoine Griezmann was enough to secure a massive three points for Diego Simeone’s side at the home of Real Madrid for the third successive league season on Saturday.

In what has become a typical performance under the Argentine boss, Atlético defended astutely throughout the match and managed to seize one of the rare opportunities that came their way.

Finishing chances has not been one of Atlético’s strong points this season but Griezmann, the team’s top scorer, neatly notched in his 13th of the campaign to claim the win, as well as the city bragging rights.

Los Rojiblancos had gone eleven years without defeating their rivals but Saturday’s win made it three wins on the bounce at the Santiago Bernabeu, something that no other side has achieved. It was also Zinedine Zidane's first loss since taking over at the helm in early January.

Rayo rally back again

After Sevilla, next up for Barça is a trip to Rayo Vallecano. Paco Jemez's side were in action at Real Betis on Saturday and, just as they did against Sevilla last week, managed to come back from two goals down to draw 2-2 thanks to a brace from Manucho.

The division's 16th-placed side are in desperate need of points and have clearly found a fighting spirit at the ideal stage of the season.

Chance to restore eight-point advantage

The Catalans are not in action until Sunday, when they take on Sevilla at Camp Nou (8.30pm). A win for Barça would not only restore their eight-point lead over Atlético but it would also see their lead over rivals Real Madrid extended to 12 with as many games remaining.

[[BOTOVERMELL::LA LIGA TABLE++::http://www.fcbarcelona.com/football/first-team/spanish-league::HOR::::NO-TRACKING::::::]]

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