Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid: 5 Classic Encounters Ahead of La Liga Clash

European giants and bitter crosstown rivals Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid are set to face off against one another in the first instalment of El Derbi Madrileño in this season’s La Liga.

The two sides have already faced off against one another in this season’s European Super Cup, with Atleti coming out on top. 

A Madrid derby usually has its fair share of controversy, and this will likely be no different.

Ahead of this weekend’s fixture, here’s a look at five of the best recent encounters between two sides that call Madrid home.

5. Real Madrid 1-2 Atlético Madrid (May 2013)

Prior to the Copa del Rey final in 2013, Atlético had tried and failed on 26 separate occasions in beating their cross city rivals, and it seemed that Real may always have the upper hand between the two sides.

Yet Real Madrid’s spell of dominance was finally broken in a spectacularly heated affair. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gabi and Jose Mourinho all received their marching orders as the referee nearly lost control of proceedings.

Despite his sending off, Ronaldo began as punctual as ever. Powering home a header from a Mesut Ozil cross after just 13 minutes. However, Diego Costa introduced himself to the game after firing home a sumptuous strike from outside the 18 yard box.

Real attempted to restore their one goal lead, mounting attack after attack, only to be thwarted by a resolute Atlético back line and in-form Thibaut Courtois, who made a string of sensational saves.

The game finished level after 90 minutes which called for extra time, where Atlético threw the sucker punch. Joao Miranda rose highest from a Koke cross, winning Atlético the match.

4. Real Madrid 1-1 Atlético Madrid (5-3 Pens) (May 2016)

The first in this list, but the second instalment of Champions League final controversy for these two. As if the stakes for a Champions League final aren’t high enough already, these levels only become heightened further when it’s a fierce rivalry – much like the Madrid derby.

Just as he had two years prior, Sergio Ramos scored the opening goal for Los Blancos, just this time on the 15th minute mark after Toni Kroos delivered a brilliant free kick into the Atlético box.

Atlético struggled to make any real impact on the game and it took until the second half to fashion their first notable chance. Griezmann, however, was only able to scupper the chance – thundering against the bar.

Yannick Carrasco entered the field and spared any blushes by levelling the tie with just ten minutes remaining. Yet Atlético were unable to produce the inspiring comeback that Real had two years prior, as Ronaldo smashed home the winning penalty to win Los Blancos their 11th Champions League.

3. Atlético Madrid 4-0 Real Madrid (February 2015)

Despite the fact that Atlético Madrid had been slowly but surely showing signs that they were capable of challenging Real Madrid and Barcelona, a result of this magnitude is still surprising. 

At the long gone Vicente Calderon, Atlético Madrid utterly dominated Real Madrid. Tiago Mendes and Saul Niquez set the early tone with two goals.

Antoine Griezmann and Mario Mandukic were more than happy to heap the misery on Real Madrid as the pair scored one apiece.

It was the heaviest defeat Atlético Madrid had inflicted on their cross town rivals since 1987 and signalled the early signs that the pendulum was beginning to swing.

2. Real Madrid 2-4 Atlético Madrid (Aug 2018)

A direct consequence of the two European giants triumphing in the Champions League and Europa League respectively. It was also the first time Real Madrid had lined up competitively without Cristiano Ronaldo, and they undoubtedly missed him. 

Diego Costa brilliantly opened up the scoring after just 50 seconds. However, Real responded on the 27th minute as the flying Welshman whipped an inch perfect cross to allow Benzema to head home. Real then took the lead through Sergio Ramos from the spot, after Juanfran was accused of handball.

Despite the set back of going a goal behind and the looming hoodoo of never beating Real in a final, Atlético responded as Costa tapped home his second to force extra time. After the swing of momentum, Atlético took the game to the Real Madrid back line as Saul fired a volley into the top corner to take the lead. 

Real had never conceded four in a match under predecessor Zinedine Zidane and were aiming to win the trophy for the third successive year. But any hopes of a fightback were extinguished when Koke slotted home for the Europa League holders.

1. Real Madrid 4-1 Atlético Madrid (AET) (May 2014)

Ultimately the scoreline flatters Real here. In what appears to be a walk in the park was a closely contested slog. The first of two Champions League finals where these famous rivals have entered the ring, it was Atlético who drew first blood. 

Initially it seemed that Reals hopes of achieving the famous ‘La Decima’ – a historic tenth European trophy – had been dashed, as the match spiralled into extra time with Atlético Madrid in the driving seat thanks to Diego Godin capitalising on a rare Iker Casillas error.

However, for Atlético, it wasn’t to be. As Real continued to push for the equaliser they were duly rewarded. Sergio Ramos popped up deep into injury time to force the game into extra-time.

Clearly physiologically beaten, Real took full advantage, scoring first through Gareth Bale, before Marcelo and Ronaldo finished Los Colchoneros off.