Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid score, takeaways: Los Blancos dominate Madrid Derby, move into second in La Liga

Real Madrid's resurgence continued Saturday. Los Blancos went to city rival Atletico Madrid and took home a dominant 3-1 victory to leap Los Colchoneros into second place in La Liga. The result sets up Barcelona with the chance to nine points clear when Lionel Messi and company go to Athletic Bilbao at 2:45 p.m. ET on Sunday -- a game you can watch on fuboTV (Try for free) .  

Casemiro got Real Madrid going with a goal 16 minutes before Antoine Griezmann responded nine minutes later, but a penalty-kick goal by Sergio Ramos just before halftime and a strike from substitute Gareth Bale 74 minutes in put the game away for Santiago Solari's team. Here are three takeaways:

Flying start sets the tone

From the beginning, Real was the sharper team. Perhaps confident from that draw at Barcelona midweek in the Copa del Rey semifinals, Real was the team that looked more disciplined, something hard to do against a Diego Simeone-led Atleti. And just 16 minutes in, Casemiro was in the right spot at the right time, reading the corner kick perfectly to bicycle kick home the opener:

That gave Real a bunch of confidence and helped them stay afloat after Atleti's quick response. 

Vinicius is more of a problem each game

This kid is something else. The former Flamengo star has really found his form with the Los Blancos and gave Atleti a ton of trouble down the left. He was key on the winning goal, earning the penalty kick that Ramos converted. The key was on the sideline when he turned in front of Jose Maria Gimenez, leaving the Uruguayan in the dust with a brilliant bit of skill. Gimenez could never catch up and brought him down near the edge of the box for the penalty.

This team may have just turned the corner

Now in second place, Real Madrid finally looks to have turned the corner when it comes to consistency. But let's not just assume they are back to their old winning ways. The recent results have been good, but with two matches coming up against Ajax and Barcelona, bigger tests are on the way. If Real can advance in the Champions League and get into the Copa del Rey final, it will be time to declare them back.

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Full Bio

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