Real Madrid moved six points ahead of Atletico Madrid with a derby day win on Saturday evening at the Vicente Calderon.
The visitors, who made eight changes with Borussia Dortmund in mind, went behind after just three minutes when Radamel Falcao was allowed to head home at the far post.
Parity was instantly restored though, Angel Di Maria's soft free kick deflected off Juanfran and beyond Thibaut Courtois.
Atleti were on top at the start of the second half, as they dreamed of their first win against their neighbors for 14 years.
They were dealt a cruel blow though when Karim Benzema picked out Di Maria's wonderful run for the Argentinian to score what would prove the winner.
La Liga: Vicente Calderon, Madrid. 1400 ET 2000 CET
Atletico Madrid 1-2 Real Madrid (Falcao - Juanfran OG, Di Maria)
Atletico Madrid: Thibaut Courtois; Juanfran, Diego Godín, Miranda, Filipe Luis; Mario Suarez ("Cebolla" Rodriguez), Gabi; Koke, Raul García (Adrian), Diego Costa; Radamel Falcao
Substitutes: Segio Asenjo; Cata Diaz, Emiliano Insua, Tiago Mendes, Oliver Torres
Real Madrid: Diego Lopez; Michael Essien (Raphael Varane), Raul Albiol, Ricardo Carvalho, Nacho Fernandez; Pepe, Sami Khedira; Angel Di Maria (Luka Modric), Kaka (Xabi Alonso), Alvaro Morata; Karim Benzema.
Substitutes: Iker Casillas; Mesut Ozil, Jose Callejon, Gonzalo Higuain
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