Madrid's teen striker Rodriguez rescues derby draw against Atletico
Real Madrid's striker Alvaro Rodriguez salvages a late 1-1 draw for the champions in a tense derby clash against 10-man Atletico Madrid on Saturday in La Liga.
Real Madrid's young striker Alvaro Rodriguez earned a late 1-1 draw for the champions in a crucial derby clash against Atletico Madrid on Saturday in La Liga.
The point provisionally drops league leaders Barcelona's advantage on Los Blancos to seven points, but provides the Catalans the opportunity to expand the gap to 10 against Almeria on Sunday.
In the second half, Jose Gimenez had headed Atletico in front, shortly after team-mate Angel Correa had been sent off for elbowing Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger.
However, forward Rodriguez headed Madrid level on only his second league appearance for the club.
Last weekend, the striker made a strong impact in a cameo against Osasuna, setting up a goal, and made a major contribution against Atletico.
Carlo Ancelotti, Madrid coach, replaced injured duo Rodrygo and David Alaba with Marco Asensio and Nacho Fernandez respectively, while Toni Kroos went back to the team.
His counterpart Diego Simeone was without injured World Cup winner Rodrigo de Paul and chose Pablo Barrios in the middle.
The first half was evenly contested and pedestrian in quality, after the Copa del Rey clash these sides offered up in January, won 3-1 by Real Madrid.
Carlo Ancelotti's side also won in October against Atletico in the first league match but could not maintain their domination at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Reinaldo Mandava, the Atletico defender, was forced off injured midway through the first half, for hurting his knee in a tussle with Fede Valverde.
Marcos Llorente complained when he was booked for holding Vinicius Junior off with a hand to the Brazilian's face, but there was little else to set pulses racing in the opening 45 minutes.
Antoine Griezmann dragged a low shot narrowly wide of Thibaut Courtois's goal after good work by Yannick Carrasco.
The game changed in the hosts' favor when Correa stroked and hit Rudiger in the chest off the ball, with the German defender flinging himself to the floor.
Spanish news outlets had talked about Atletico's unhappiness with the appointment of referee Jesus Gil Manzano, leading to an eight-match ban.
Ancelotti took a risk and brought on forward Rodriguez for defender Nacho, moving substitute Eduardo Camavinga to left back. Seconds afterward, Atletico took the lead.
Gimenez met Griezmann's inviting free-kick with a towering header after 78 minutes to break the deadlock.
Vinicius curled an effort high over the crossbar as Madrid sought an equalizer, the Brazilian incapable of recreating his amazing performance at Anfield.
However, Rodriguez intervened, leaping brilliantly to nod Luka Modric's corner in off the post, which was enough for Madrid to avoid a defeat by rivals Atletico.
The result leaves the door open on Sunday for Barcelona to take another step toward the title.