Atletico Madrid fight back to hold Real Madrid in La Liga

Astonishingly though an nearly nonexistent Antoine Griezmann then levelled the scores just four minutes later with a rasping shot after playing a neat one-two with Vitolo.

To general surprise, Zidane chose to take off Ronaldo after 64 minutes and replace him with Karim Benzema.

Griezmann equalized less than five minutes later with a strike from near the penalty spot after a move started by Vitolo inside the area. Ronaldo appeared unhappy as he made his way to the dugout.

The Frenchman also admitted that the training he did in the summer prepared him "really well", physically, for the season ahead, and he is now reaping the rewards at the business end of the season and with the World Cup in Russian Federation looming. In his 199 games for Atletico so far the Frenchman has scored 107 goals, 24 of which have come in 39 matches this season with one in each of his last four matches.

It also left leaders Barcelona 11 points better off than second-placed Atletico at the top of the table with seven games to play.

"Teams like PSG and Juve have seen how hard it is to face them". The former Chelsea forward was released clean through on goal by a deft flick from Koke but his low shot at the near post was brilliantly stopped by Keylor Navas.

"What we have done in this decade is tremendous, Atletico fans should be proud of how their team is competing".

They retain their four-point cushion over Real while this was perhaps the ideal result for leaders Barcelona, who are now 11 points clear at the top. They could well have the title wrapped up by the time they welcome Real Madrid to the Camp Nou for the Clasico next month.

"When they scored, we responded immediately and we saw a game we could win with Koke and [Angel] Correa, and could have lost without [goalkeeper Jan] Oblak".

They eventually forced their way in front in fine style eight minutes into the second half when Gareth Bale - who was left out of the 3-0 Champions League victory over Juventus in midweek - found space on the left and crossed for Ronaldo to volley expertly past Oblak with defender Lucas caught under the ball.

  • Angelo Rivera