Marcos Llorente’s header in stoppage time meant Atletico Madrid held cross-city rivals Real Madrid 1-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday evening.

Brahim Diaz gave the hosts the opening goal in the first half, and it looked like it would be enough to secure three points for the league leaders, but Llorente’s header meant Diego Simeone’s side will travel back home with a point from a feisty encounter.

The hosts came into the encounter on the back of six consecutive wins in the league, while Atletico, to their credit, hadn’t been on the wrong side of the scoreline in their last eight meetings against Madrid opposition.

Real started the better of the two sides testing Jan Oblak in goal inside the first five minutes. Much against the run of play, Antoine Griezmann played in Alvaro Morata but the latter saw his effort well saved by Andriy Lunin in the Real goal.

Real take the lead

Twenty minutes in and the hosts were ahead, despite Atletico’s repeated calls for offside. Brahim Diaz started a move to find Jude Bellingham who played in Lucas Vazquez, but the latter’s effort was well prodded out by Koke.

However, the ball fell kindly for Diaz who slotted in past Oblak to give his side the lead on the day as VAR withheld the on-field goal decision.

Three minutes later, Lunin made a terrific save to deny Axel Witsel from equalizing from a header that was destined for the right top corner.

Just seconds later Stefan Savic failed to score from close range as Real survived. From then on, Real took the initiative and created several opportunities to extend their lead but failed to come with the killer ball in the final third.

Atletico have a goal disallowed using VAR

Three minutes into the second half, Savic scored with his head, in a similar fashion build-up from the first half from Griezmann’s cross.

However, VAR intervened to rule the goal out with Saul being in front of Lunin in the build up the goal. VAR was called into action twice in the next six minutes later for two penalty appeals from Real. However, it stuck with the on-field decision on both occasions as it was still 1-0 to the hosts.

Real should have extended their lead in the 67th minute when Oblak parried Rodrygo’s initial shot, but Federico Valverde failed to knock home the rebound as Atletico survived.

Lunin then once again, made a superb save to deny Griezmann one-on-one as it looked like Carlo Ancelotti’s side will scrape a 1-0 win. However, it was not to be as the Rojiblancos finally restored parity in the 92nd minute.

After Savic’s long ball was headed in the air by Memphis Depay, it was Llorente who rose highest to head past Nacho with a beautiful looping header to give his side a point.

The result meant Real still lead the league standings with 58 points from 23 games and will now prepare to host Girona in a top-of-the-table clash next weekend, who are just two points behind. Atletico, meanwhile, stay fourth, ten points adrift of their derby rivals.

Photo credit: Alvaro Medranda/ Panoramic