Atletico Denied Derby Victory by Late Benzema Equalizer

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]Atletico Madrid's Mario Hermoso reacts after Real Madrid's Karim Benzema scored his side's 1-1 equalizer during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Atletico Madrid squandered the chance to inflict a heavy blow on Real Madrid’s La Liga title hopes on Sunday as Karim Benzema’s late equalizer earned the champions a 1-1 draw and kept them in the race at the top.

Luis Suarez’s flicked finish early in the first half looked to be enough to give Atletico a crucial win that would have put them eight points clear of their opponents, with a game in hand.

But they failed to make their authority count and Benzema punished them in the 88th minute, his goal earning Real Madrid a draw that ensures the gap between the two city rivals stays at five points.

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