Advantage Atleti in Copa derby

Atletico Madrid hold the advantage in the Copa del Rey tie with Real Madrid after a hard-fought first-leg win.

Raul Garcia’s penalty gave Atleti the lead just before the hour, Sergio Ramos sanctioned for appearing to drag down the midfielder, although replays suggest Garcia had a handful of Ramos’ shirt and was happy to be felled.

Jose Gimenez added a second with around 15 minutes to play, rushing to meet a corner with his head and sending the ball past Keylor Navas.

Fernando Torres started on his return to Atletico as Diego Simeone rotated his XI, resting Koke, Arda Turan and Mario Mandzukic.

Cristiano Ronaldo was on the Madrid bench, suffering from a minor knee injury, reports claim, with Navas getting a start in goal.

It was Jan Oblak called into action first, though, parrying a thumping Sergio Ramos header after barely a minute of play, the defender getting above Raul Garcia to meet a corner.

Set-pieces – usually an Atleti strong point – were again a danger for Los Blancos, Bale this time finding the net before a correctly-raised offside flag saw the goal annulled.

Antoine Griezmann then went down the other end and drew a save from Keylor Navas and the resulting corner saw even more wrestling between players than usual, Garcia and Sami Khedira the main culprits.

Raphael Varane, in for Pepe, was robbed by France colleague Griezmann but recovered with a superbly-timed challenge to prevent the forward getting a shot away.

Garcia saw a shot blocked by Marcelo in a game of furious action but few chances – the next one fell to Khedira, who looped a header over Oblak’s crossbar from an Alvaro Arbeloa cross.

Karim Benzema sent a powerful effort straight at Oblak and a Bale drive flashed past the post from range as the half ended goalless.

Madrid created the best chance of the early second half going, a deep Marcelo cross finding Bale but the winger’s cushioned right-footed effort drifted past the far post.

Garcia’s goal came shortly after, Navas diving the right way but the Costa Rica international unable to keep the ball out of the net.

Madrid called for Ronaldo to help them get out of trouble but the Portuguese was largely on the periphery, despite Atletico wilfully conceding ground to the League leaders. One free-kick in a potentially dangerous area harmlessly bounced wide.

Atleti made the most of their set-pieces, Gimenez doubling the lead, while Madrid were fortunate not to go down to 10 men after a studs-up challenge from Arbeloa.

Toni Kroos’ tame effort was about the most Madrid could muster in reply, Atletico entering a disciplined, dedicated performance to take the advantage in the two-legged tie.

Atletico 2-0 Madrid

Raul Garcia pen 58, Gimenez 76

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Gamez, Gimenez, Godin, Lucas; Mario, Saul (Turan 68), Gabi, Raul Garcia; Griezmann (Mandzukic 75), Fernando Torres (Koke 59)

Real Madrid: Navas; Arbeloa (Carvajal 83), Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Khedira, Kroos, Isco; Bale, Benzema (Jese 75), James (Ronaldo 63)

Referee: Clos Gomez