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Wednesday , November 14 2018

Real’s title hopes ‘fade’ further after derby draw

MADRID, Nov 19, (RTRS): Liga champions Real Madrid suffered another dent in their hopes of defending the title as they drew 0-0 at Atletico Madrid in the first local derby at the Wanda Metropolitano, an encounter high on intensity and passion but low on quality.

Atletico were gifted a glorious chance with the game less than three minutes old when Marcelo played a woeful back pass which invited the hosts to attack and the ball made its way to Angel Correa, who sliced his shot wide of goal with only Kiko Casilla to beat.

Real’s best moment came through a well worked move between Ronaldo and Toni Kroos which led to the German flying into the box only to strike the wrong side of the near post.

The intense rivalry between the two neighbours could be felt throughout the game, with Correa booting a ball at Karim Benzema’s face when the French striker was on the floor or when Stefan Savic cynically hauled down Kroos.

Towards the end of the first half Lucas Hernandez kicked Sergio Ramos in the face as the captain tried to land a diving header, an incident which could have led to a Real penalty and saw Ramos taken off with a fractured nose.

Atletico substitute Kevin Gameiro was denied a goal in the second half when fellow Frenchman Raphael Varane leapt to head his chipped shot away just as it was about to cross the line, while down the other end goalkeeper Jan Oblak had to make two late saves to thwart Cristiano Ronaldo and Kroos.

The first goalless league Madrid derby since May 2005 leaves Real third in the standings, locked on 24 points with Atletico as both sides slipped 10 points behind leaders Barcelona, who beat Leganes 3-0.

Second-placed Valencia can go six points ahead of the Madrid duo and four behind Barca if they beat Espanyol on Sunday.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos had his nose broken in a bad-tempered Madrid derby at Atletico Madrid, tests confirmed on Sunday.

Ramos had to be replaced at half-time of Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano which left both sides 10 points behind runaway La Liga leaders Barcelona.

“After tests carried out on Sergio Ramos by the Real Madrid Sanitas medical team, he has been diagnosed with a fractured nose,” Madrid said in a statement.

Real were furious referee David Fernandez Borbalan didn’t award a penalty when Lucas Hernandez’s boot caught Ramos flush in the face.

The club didn’t state how long Ramos will be sidelined, but Madrid-based sports daily Marca reported he could return as early as next weekend for Malaga’s trip to the Santiago Bernabeu, with the aid of a protective mask.

“I would bleed a thousand times for this badge and this shirt,” Ramos posted on Twitter alongside pictures of his bloodied face.

“Thanks for your support. I’ll be back in no time.”

Ramos is expected to miss Real’s Champions League trip to APOEL Nicosia on Tuesday where a win will secure the European champions’ place in the last 16.

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