Cristiano Ronaldo netted a stupendous hat-trick for Real Madrid to down rivals Atletico and create a significant separation in the league table.
A deflected free-kick, penalty and close-range strike earned the Ballon d'Or winner his plaudits, while Atletico were outdone and cast into doubt after a subdued derby showing.
|Image: BBC Sport|
The capital of Spain was at a standstill with the city's two footballing juggernauts ready to duke it out with the complexion of the league table hinging in the process. There wasn't much of the expected derby fouling and animosity in the early stages, instead the visitors had a nervy start after a set-piece was cleared away by Marcelo.
Saúl Ñíguez bundled his shot wide after a ferocious run to meet Koke's cross, as Atletico set an early, frantic pace. Had it not been for the magic of their goalkeeper though, things would have made a huge turn. Cristiano Ronaldo planted a downwards header from close range but Oblak got down and managed to firmly keep it out - with the referee ruling that the ball did not fully cross the goal line.
Los Blancos were beginning to feel more enthusiasm and they were inclined to produce more chances, helped on by a midfield oozing with ambition. Lucas Vázquez was then fouled by Savic from around 25 yards, and from there, the star on the pitch would break the game open.
|Image: ESPN FC|
Cristiano Ronaldo drilled the free-kick straight at the wall, but it would take a timely deflection off Stefan Savić and the course of the ball would be diverted, creeping past Oblak and really compounding the struggles of Simeone's men. It prompted a dominant finish to the first half, with Real in pretty much complete control of their cross-city rivals.
Atlético came out in the second half swinging, with Carrasco's shot fizzing over the bar as he almost caught Navas out from long range, before Griezmann's attempt flew past the frame. He then robbed Modric of the ball and tried to land a stunning piledriver, but it was stopped easily.
Gareth Bale flew through the air to meet Modric's free-kick at the other end and that was now Real's turn to get the game back into their comfort zone and nullify the storm. Then it was time for a sizable serving of derby day disagreements, as Ronaldo was booked after a heated exchange with Koke.
That didn't take him off his game, however, as he was given a chance to double his team's and his own tally after a moment of panic from Stefan Savić proved costly. A long ball was missed and he ended up taking out the Euro 2016 winner from behind, and it was down to CR7 who coolly plotted it into the bottom left corner, with the keeper going the other way.
Los Rojiblancos had barely any time to recover when Ronaldo capped off the hat-trick. Gareth Bale did all the work for the third as he surged down the wing and put it on a plate for his teammate to tap-in from 5 yards. His game would come to an end a couple of minutes later when he made way for Rodriguez, and was worthy of all the plaudits after one of the best performances of the season. Navas finished things off with a delightful save to preserve the clean sheet as Real walked through them and created daylight on the league table. Atletico now trail by 9 points and their title chances are in ruins.