Madrid stay perfect after Atletico derby

·2-min read

Real Madrid have beaten city rivals Atletico 2-1 in Spain's La Liga to extend their perfect start to the season.

Rodrygo and Federico Valverde scored first-half goals on Sunday as the defending champions won their ninth match in a row in all competitions.

The result restored Madrid as the league leaders after they it had been overtaken by Barcelona on Saturday following the Catalan club's 3-0 win against Elche. Madrid lead Barca by two points.

Atletico's second league loss came despite using Antoine Griezmann from the start for the first time this season. Coach Diego Simeone had been adding the France forward only after the 60-minute mark amid a contractual dispute in which Atletico would reportedly have to pay extra to Barcelona if Griezmann played a certain number of minutes in the season.

The buildup to the first Madrid derby of the season had been surrounded by controversy over Vinicius Juniors' dancing during his goal celebrations. Vinicius, who is black, had criticised racist language used by a television sports talk show guest about his dances. The 22-year-old forward had said his actions were being criminalised but insisted he wouldn't stop showing his happiness on the field.

Before the match, a video posted online allegedly showed Atletico supporters calling Vinicius "a monkey" in chants outside the Metropolitano Stadium.

Rodrygo opened the scoring with a neat one-timer from inside the area in the 18th minute and danced with his fellow Brazilian Vinicius. Valverde added to the lead in a 36th-minute breakaway and celebrated his goal by doing a yoga pose.

Atletico pulled one closer in the 83rd with a goal from Mario Hermoso, who was sent off in added time.

Sevilla's struggles continued with a 1-1 draw at Villarreal, leaving the club near the relegation zone and increasing the pressure on former Spain and Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui.

"I'm not going to talk about the future, that's very complicated," Sevilla boss Lopetegui said.

"I can only talk about the present. There is still a lot to be played for and we will try to get better and compete."

It was Sevilla's seventh game without a win in eight matches in all competitions and leaves them only one point above the relegation zone after six league matches.

Elsewhere, Real Betis joined Real Madrid and Barcelona as the only teams with five league wins by coming from behind to defeat Girona 2-1.

Getafe won 2-0 at Osasuna and Real Sociedad beat Espanyol 2-1 at home.