Atletico de Madrid’s second coach German Burgos (right) argues with referee (centre) past Atletico Madrid’s Argentinian coach Diego Simeone during the La Liga match at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid yesterday. The game ended in a draw 2-2.
MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo equalised eight minutes from time as Real Madrid remained on top of La Liga thanks to a pulsating 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon.
Karim Benzema had fired Real into a third minute lead when he converted Angel di Maria’s cross.
However, despite being denied a clear penalty when Sergio Ramos tripped Diego Costa, Atletico were in front by half-time thanks to fine strikes by Koke and Gabi.
Another turned down penalty appeal for a foul on Costa led Atletico assistant boss Mono Burgos to be sent to the general stand as he tried to confront the referee midway through the second-half.
And Atletico were left to feel hard done when Ronaldo spun on the edge of the box to drill home a late equaliser.
A point for both sides means Real remain three points clear of Atletico, but Barcelona can move to within a point of Los Blancos should they beat Almeria later on Sunday.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men came into the game full of confidence after thrashing Schalke 6-1 on their return to Champions League action in midweek and took just three minutes to open the scoring.
A short corner from the right was worked back to Angel di Maria and his in-swinging cross was slotted home at the back post by Benzema.
The home fans and players were left incensed seven minutes later when Costa was tripped inside the area by Ramos, but referee Carlos Delgado Ferreiro waved away claims for a penalty.
Some of the Atletico players took their protests too far, though, as Arda Turan appeared to push Ferreiro and was lucky to only receive a yellow card.
That decision added fire to an already intense atmosphere inside the Calderon and the home support inspired Atletico as they went on to dominate the majority of the first-half. REUTERS