sport news 1-0 Atletico Madrid: Karim Benzema strike the difference

1-0 Atletico Madrid: Karim Benzema settles Madrid derby as Zinedine Zidane's Real stretch their lead at the top of the table defeated arch rivals Atletico Madrid 1-0 to extend their lead at the summit of La Liga  After a tense first half where the visitors had the better chances, Karim Benzema made the breakthrough  Vinicius Junior and Ferland Mendy unlocked the Atletico defence as the Frenchman slotted home The win gives Madrid a six point lead over Barcelona ahead of their game against Levante on Sunday

By Pete Jenson for MailOnline

Published: 16:52 GMT, 1 February 2020 | Updated: 18:56 GMT, 1 February 2020

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Karim Benzema won the derby for with a second-half goal to leave Zinedine Zidane's team 13 points clear of their city rivals in the La Liga table.

Diego Simeone came into the game under pressure but his team responded to the dire situation with an impressive first half. Madrid had the strength in depth however and with Vinicius Junior coming off the bench at half time to help set up the winner the home side's run of unbeaten games stretched to 21.

Madrid are starting to look like Champions elect. There is a long way to go but this pushed their neighbours Atletico definitively out of the race to stop them.

Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of La Liga after a Karim Benzema strike was enough to defeat rivals Atletico Madrid

extended their lead at the top of La Liga after a Karim Benzema strike was enough to defeat rivals Atletico Madrid

Benzema slotted home in the second half after Vinicius Junior and Ferland Mendy combined to unlock the Atletico defence

Benzema slotted home in the second half after Vinicius Junior and Ferland Mendy combined to unlock the Atletico defence

Benzema's team-mates congratulate the Frenchman as Real Madrid edged their rivals at the Santiago Bernebeu on Saturday

Benzema's team-mates congratulate the Frenchman as edged their rivals at the Santiago Bernebeu on Saturday

Benzema raises his fist to the air after he opens the scoring for Real Madrid in the La Liga contest on Saturday afternoon

Benzema raises his fist to the air after he opens the scoring for in the La Liga contest on Saturday afternoon 

MATCH FACTS

(4-3-2-1): Courtois; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos (Junior Vinicius 46), Casemiro; Isco (Lucas 46), Modric; Benzema

Subs not used: Areola, Jovic, Marcelo, Militao, Rodriguez

Booked: Mendy, Casemiro

Goals: Benzema (56)

Manager: Zinedine Zidane

Atletico Madrid (4-4-2): Oblak; Vrsalijko, Savic, Felipe, Renan Lodi; Correa, Llorente, Thomas (Camello 74), Saul; Vitolo (Carrasco 71), Morata (Lemar 50)

Subs not used: Adan, Hermoso, Moya, Saponjic

Booked: Simeone, Felipe, Vrsalijko

Goals: 

Manager: Diego Simeone

Referee: Javier Fernandez

Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu

Attendance: 77,253 

Sergio Ramos had the first chance of the game on seven minutes but shot over. The defender, playing his 42nd Madrid derby, found himself in centre-forward territory for the chance – Madrid were playing almost without a No 9 at times.

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Benzema was the nominal nine but he was drifting in and out of the position – the idea being that Madrid's line of five central midfielders could also get into the area. It worked well at first and Fede Valverde, playing wide right, found some joy running in behind Renan Lodi but

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