Real Madrid-Atletico Madrid Play to Draw in Derby; Cristiano Ronaldo Scores

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The result in the capital edged Barcelona even closer to the title, with Ernesto Valverde's men 11 points clear of Atleti at the summit with seven games remaining.

"As an African I feel good to be part of this game". And there was a feisty nature to the early stages, with early yellow cards on either side for Toni Kroos and Vitolo.

The first opportunity of the match fell to Real Madrid in the ninth minute, but Ronaldo could not bundle the ball past Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak from close range after meeting a flicked header from Bale.

Gareth Bale was given 90 minutes, perhaps not the most positive indicator for his chances of a start in midweek.

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Welbeck narrowly failed to get on the end of a Wilshere cross after he hooked the ball back from the byline on 79 minutes. Welbeck made it 2-1 in the 38th, leaving McCarthy helpless with a deflected shot from an Alex Iwobi feed.

Ronaldo was surprisingly replaced by Karim Benzema for the final 26 minutes, perhaps with Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Juventus in mind.

But it was skipper Sergio Ramos who nearly won it at the death when his free-kick looked to be heading into the top corner until Oblak got a hand to it.

Real Madrid did take the lead in the 53rd minute, however, when Ronaldo expertly volleyed an inch-perfect Bale cross into the corner of the net for his 40th goal of the campaign.

"We knew we'd have to play better in the second half and we did".

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France worldwide Griezmann, 27, has now scored on each of his last three league visits to the Bernabeu and has 18 goals in his last 20 games in all competitions.

"We have been training hard, preparing for this weekend's game". Atletico looked threatening on the break and Diego Costa could have scored when set free by a superb Koke pass but the striker, ignoring Griezmann in the middle, saw his angled finish tipped around the post.

Zinedine Zidane has never beaten Atletico Madrid at the Bernabeu in La Liga as manager, with Diego Simeone's side having won three and drawn one of their last four league visits.

Atletico Madrid's Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey has explained how much it means for him to play in the Madrid derby as an African.

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Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC.