Both Madrid sides suffered a familiar lack of cutting edge in front of goal this season, but it was Atletico who passed up the best chance when Angel Correa fired wide after just three minutes.
“We lacked a goal, but apart from that I feel for the players because they deserved more,” said Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.
“10 points is a lot but that will change for sure because Barca will not always win and we will be in the running.”
After a bright start from Atletico, Real’s first chance came on the counter-attack but Juanfran outpaced Cristiano Ronaldo when the Portuguese was put clean through by Luka Modric much to the home crowd’s delight.
“In the first 25 minutes you saw the team we are against the best team in the world, who had the need to win after Barca’s win,” said Atletico boss Diego Simeone.
“We are finding it hard to score goals. If we score with Correa it would have changed the game completely.”
The visitors slowly started to take control of possession as the first period wore on, but lacked a creative spark.
Jan Oblak turned Toni Kroos’s effort behind at the near post after a neat one-two with Ronaldo, before Sergio Ramos was left bloodied and eventually replaced at half-time with a broken nose as he was caught by Lucas Hernandez as he stooped to head into the side-netting.
Ronaldo’s profligacy has been blamed for Real’s slump in form this season and the Portuguese was once again wayward with his side’s best chance as his tame effort from Modric’s pass dribbled wide.
Antoine Griezmann was jeered off after another underwhelming display 15 minutes from time.
“As long as someone is in my family, I am with them to the death,” added an irritated Simeone at the Frenchman’s treatment.
However, his replacement Kevin Gameiro nearly grabbed the winner when his lobbed effort was cleared off the line by Raphael Varane.
And at the other end, Ronaldo took just too long to wind up his effort as Hernandez galloped back into position to make a brave block in a frantic finale and ensure Atletico a share of the spoils.
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