CARSON, Calif. – Real Madrid ensured Atletico Madrid's run without a win in the Madrid derby will stretch into its 14th year with a comfortable 2-0 victory at the Bernabeu.
A wonderful free-kick from Cristiano Ronaldo lit up what was an otherwise disappointing first half before Mesut Ozil secured all three points with a tidy finish 25 minutes from time.
Despite the defeat, second-placed Atletico remained ahead of their neighbours in the standings but slipped six points behind Barcelona with Real a further five points behind.
This had been billed as the biggest derby in the Spanish capital for many years given Atletico's unusually lofty position, and the visitors had the first real opening of the match when Diego Costa got free down the right and tried to pick out Radamel Falcao with a low cross but Iker Casillas got down bravely to block the ball away to safety.
However, Real then took the lead with their first effort on goal as Arda Turan was penalised for handling 35 yards out and Ronaldo produced a stunning effort to score for the first time from a free-kick this season.
The game then descended into a scrappy affair with plenty of squabbles, particularly between Costa, Falcao and the Real centre-backs, but Ronaldo had another ambitious strike before the break, this time from fully 45 yards, turned away by Thibaut Courtois.
Thankfully the pace quickened after the interval and Courtois did well once again to turn away a dangerous low cross from Karim Benzema with Ronaldo closing in, whilst at the other end Falcao pulled a shot wide from 25 yards.
Ronaldo looked the player most likely to create any sort of danger all evening, though, and he came close to a second twice in close succession just before the hour mark as he lashed a shot wide before forcing Courtois into smart stop from another free-kick.
The hosts' second did arrive soon after, though. Ronaldo picked out Ozil, who was free inside the area and despite a poor first touch he threaded the ball between Courtois' legs for his third goal of the season.
Ronaldo then struck the bar with yet another fierce free-kick from the edge of the area and the Portuguese was left ruing his luck again 12 minutes from time when he sprinted the full length of the field to latch onto Ozil's through-ball but hit the outside of the post from a narrow angle.
Disappointingly, Atletico produced almost nothing of note in the attacking third by way of a response as Real cruised to their ninth consecutive victory in all competitions over Los Rojiblancos.