Real Madrid maintained its 11-year unbeaten run over Atletico Madrid with a 2-0 victory Sunday that kept it top of the Spanish league despite Lionel Messi’s 16th goal of the season inspiring Barcelona to victory at Getafe.
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Madrid hasn’t lost a Spanish capital derby since 1999 as first-half goals from Ricardo Carvalho and Mesut Oezil ensured that streak stretched even longer.
Madrid stayed top of the standings with 26 points from 10 games, one better than Barcelona after the defending champion won 3-1 earlier.
Barcelona dominated at the Alfonso Perez stadium as midfielder Xavi Hernandez shook off a nagging Achilles injury to play.
Messi scored his eighth league goal after sweeping a pass from David Villa beyond goalkeeper Jordi Codina in the 23rd minute.
The Argentina forward returned the favor for Villa in the 34th as the striker hit his fifth goal of the season with a right-footed shot.
Messi then robbed defender Cata Diaz in the 65th and Pedro Rodriguez slotted past Codina for his first goal of the season.
Getafe scored in the 70th after Gerard Pique was red carded for handling a pass inside the area. Manu del Moral stepped up to convert the penalty and become the club’s all-time leading scorer from his 30th goal.
"Playing with 10 they could come forward and that complicated our game," said goalkeeper Victor Valdes, who foiled Javier Arizmendi’s clear chance in the 83rd. "But we dominated to perfection all the way."
Madrid also left little doubt as it made it 18 straight games without defeat to its western city neighbor, whose last victory came at the same Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Coach Jose Mourinho believes his club is getting stronger with every game.
"Today, again, for me was very good. Again the team stuck together and stayed mentally strong," the Portuguese coach said. "We’re a team – not a perfect team, far from it – but in this moment we are a team and I’m happy."
David De Gea made early stops from Pepe and Sami Khedira before defender Ricardo Carvalho continued his run to receive a through ball from Angel Di Maria and slip the 13th-minute opener past the Atletico goalkeeper.
After Alvaro Dominguez tugged Cristiano Ronaldo down on the right edge of the area, Mesut Oezil curled the resulting free kick around the flat-footed De Gea, who appeared to think Jose Antonio Reyes would block the 19th-minute shot.
Atletico finally began to create chances through Sergio Aguero’s runs down the right flank, but Diego Forlan’s 29th-minute shot was deflected wide. Iker Casillas then got a hand up to stop Simao Sabrosa’s effort from the subsequent corner.
Casillas was airborne again in the 36th to palm Reyes’ shot out as Madrid eased off after its quick start.
Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain smashed a volley off the post in the 47th, while Forlan volleyed his own chance off the post in the 61st.
Casillas dived to deny Aguero in the 84th while De Gea made stops from Ronaldo and Marcelo after that as Madrid stayed unbeaten.
"They have dangerous players up front who can create problems," Mourinho said. "For this, the 2-0 result is perfect for me."
Also, Villarreal rallied to beat Athletic Bilbao 4-1 to maintain its own title credentials with 23 points.
Fernando Llorente headed home his seventh of the season to open the scoring for Athletic after just seven minutes.
Brazil striker Nilmar started the recovery in the 39th with a header before Santi Cazorla put the hosts ahead in the 45th by scoring from an errant pass by goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz.
Giuseppe Rossi scored his seventh of the season in the 84th and Jefferson Montero sealed a seventh straight win over Bilbao at El Madrigal stadium in injury time.
Also, Gabriel Fernandez’s penalty in the sixth minute of injury time gave Zaragoza its first win of the season, a 3-2 win over Mallorca. Zaragoza moved out of last above Malaga on goal difference with both teams sharing seven points.
In Sunday’s other games, it was: Almeria 1, Sporting Gijon 1; Osasuna 3, Hercules 0; and Levante 1, Deportivo La Coruna 2.
Espanyol is next with 18 after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Malaga. Valencia, which plays Sevilla on Monday, has 17 points and Real Sociedad is on 16 after beating Racing Santander 1-0 Saturday.