Madrid, Feb 8: Atletico Madrid continued its recent run of success against crosstown rival Real Madrid, domiting the lethargic Blancos in all aspects of the game in a 4–0 home win Saturday at Vicente Calderon Stadium.
The defending La Liga champions charged out to an early lead thanks to a pair of first–half goals by Brazilian midfielder Tiago Mendes and Spanish midfielder Saul.
An own goal by Blancos defender Raphael Varane made the score 3–0 midway through the second half, and Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic capped off the rout with a goal just before stoppage time.
Mendes opened the scoring in the 14th minute when he received a pass from Mandzukic and fired a powerful shot from the top of the box that Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas mishandled and allowed to slip across the goal line.
The situation quickly went from bad to worse for the visitors, who looked lost in all areas of the field and found themselves down by two goals when Brazilian defender Guilherme Siqueira drove down the left side of the box and flipped a cross to Saul, who powered the ball into the back of the net with a spectacular left–footed bicycle kick.
The score remained 2–0 after one half of play, a 45–minute stretch in which Real Madrid was uble to mage even one shot on goal.
Little changed in the second half, as the Colchoneros continued to pile on the pressure and the Blancos remained out of sorts.
Saul continued to shine and created the third goal with a well–placed header from the left side that Varane knocked into the back of the net in the 67th minute while trying to shield French striker Antoine Griezmann.
Mandzukic then put the icing on the cake in the 89th minute with a header off a cross by Ferndo Torres.
With the win, the Colchoneros continued to put the heartbreak of last season’s Champions League fil — in which they were seconds away from victory before losing 4–1 to Real Madrid — behind them.
Besides Saturday’s victory, Atletico Madrid also knocked the Blancos out of the 2014–2015 Copa del Rey competition and won an earlier La Liga match this season at Santiago Berbeu Stadium 2–1.
The Atleti increased its La Liga point tally to 50 and is currently in third place behind Real Madrid, which sits atop the standings with 54 points.
FC Barcelo, which plays Athletic Bilbao Sunday, also has accumulated 50 points but is in second place thanks to a better goal differential than Atletico Madrid. IANS