Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo heads the ball between Atletico Madrid’s Gabi Fernandez (left) and Joao Miranda during their Spanish first division soccer match at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid yesterday.
MADRID: Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti praised his side’s reaction to a physical Atletico performance as Cristiano Ronaldo’s late equaliser salvaged a point in a heated 2-2 draw at the Vicente Calderon.
The draw maintained Real’s place at the top of La Liga, but they were thankful to some lenient refereeing from Carlos Delgado Ferreiro who waved away two strong Atletico claims for a penalty.
Karim Beznema had given Real the lead after just three minutes, but Atletico reacted well and, despite their first penalty appeal turned down, were in front before half-time thanks to two fantastic strikes by Koke and Gabi.
Ferreiro then denied the hosts the chance to seal the points when he booked Diego Costa for diving despite the striker appearing to have been brought down by Alvaro Arbeloa and then sent Atletico assistant boss Mono Burgos to the stands for taking his protests too far. That decision was to prove vital as Ronaldo spun and shot into the far corner eight minutes from time to stretch Real’s unbeaten run in all competitions to 28 games. Meanwhile, Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez scored to give Juventus a 2-0 win at AC Milan which extended their lead at the top of Serie A to 11 points yesterday. Llorente scored from close range one minute before halftime after a quick exchange of passes and Tevez rifled in in the 68th minute. AGENCIES