A late Luciano Vietto goal earned Atletico Madrid a point in a Madrid derby that failed to live up to its billing.
But Real has to thank goalkeeper Keylor Navas for even that point and he saved Los Blancos from defeat by stopping a penalty shot and making some superb saves in the last minutes, when Atletico increased their pressure seeking the victory.
This was Rafa Benitez first Madrid derby as Real manager and it was clear that he played not lose instead of trying to win. The longer the game went on the more conservatives he became, introducing defensive players in the field during the second half. The problem was that once Atletico levelled late, Real didn’t have enough attackers on the field to try and retake the lead.
Los Merengues played a brilliant game in the first stages of the match. They made it 1-0 after nine minutes when Carvajal made a superb play down the right wing and sent a super cross to Benzema, who headed his effort past Oblak.
The visitors took control of possession lead by a brilliant Luka Modric, but Atletico had a big chance to draw. Sergio Ramos made two terrible mistakes losing the ball twice in the same play and ended up bringing Tiago down inside the box.
The referee awarded a penalty and Griezmann stepped up to take it, but Navas dove to his left to push the Frenchman’s effort away.
Right before the break, Carvajal had to be replaced by Arbeloa as he fell injured after a challenge from Correa.
Atletico were more intense in the second half and Fernando Torres could had levelled as he received a pass from Correa and fired wide of the post.
With seven minutes to go, Jackson Martinez sent a low cross inside the box. Griezmann made contact with it before Navas could stop it, and the ball reached Vietto, who slotted into the empty net.
Martinez had the chance to complete the comeback and give Atletico the win as he sent a precise shot to the bottom corner, but Navas was on hand to save his team again.
Despite the draw, Los Blancos move to second position in La Liga and shorten the deficit with leaders Villarreal down to one point.