November 18, 2017 / 5:55 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 2-Soccer-Suarez inspires Barca, Real and Atletico in derby stalemate

* Atletico and Real play out goalless draw in Madrid derby

* Barca beat Leganes 3-0 to go 10 points ahead of Madrid duo

* Suarez scored twice for Barca after five games without a goal (Wraps with Madrid derby)

By Richard Martin

BARCELONA, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Real Madrid and Atletico each slipped 10 points behind La Liga leaders Barcelona after an intense Madrid derby finished goalless and the Catalans picked up an 11th victory in 12 games by winning 3-0 at Leganes.

Atletico forward Angel Correa wasted a glorious chance to open the scoring in the first derby at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium when he was through on goal in the third minute, while Toni Kroos missed Real’s clearest opportunity.

Raphael Varane rescued Real by heading away Kevin Gameiro’s chipped shot in the second half. At the other end, Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak made two late saves to thwart Cristiano Ronaldo and Kroos as Real finished stronger in the first league derby to finish 0-0 in more than 12 years.

Barca striker Luis Suarez snapped a goal drought spanning five games by scoring twice in his side’s 3-0 win at Leganes on the outskirts of the Spanish capital, while substitute Paulinho poked in the third goal in injury time.

Barca lead the standings on 34 points from 12 games, seven clear of Valencia who visit Espanyol on Sunday, while Real are third on 24, level on points with Atletico in fourth. Sevilla are fifth after coming from behind to beat Celta Vigo 2-1 at home.

The intense rivalry between Real and Atletico could be felt throughout the game, with Correa booting a ball at Karim Benzema’s face when the French striker was on the floor or when Stefan Savic cynically hauled down Kroos.

Towards the end of the first half Lucas Hernandez kicked Sergio Ramos in the face as the captain tried to land a diving header, an incident which could have led to a Real penalty and saw Ramos taken off with a fractured nose.

Atletico fans booed Antoine Griezmann off the pitch when he was substituted following a lifeless performance from the France striker, who has not scored for his club since Sept. 27.

Earlier at Leganes, Barca striker Suarez reaped the benefits of two weeks rest after being left out of Uruguay’s internationals and pounced from close range to give Barca the lead in the 28th minute, after Leganes goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar failed to hold a shot from Paco Alcacer.

SPURNED CHANCES

Leganes offered Barca little space going forward and strikers Nordin Amrabat and Alexander Szymanowski both spurned chances to score before the break, the latter being denied by the left hand of an outstretched Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

“Perhaps the result implies we dominated the game more than we actually did,” Barca coach Ernesto Valverde told reporters.

“They had their chances, we knew how to cope with the moments when they were going forward and we attacked decisively. The first half was tight but things opened up in the second.”

Suarez doubled Ernesto Valverde’s side’s lead on the hour by sliding to send another rebound beyond the hapless Cuellar and was twice denied a hat-trick. Substitute Paulinho poked in the third in stoppage-time for his fourth goal of the season.

There was one negative for Barca, however, as defender Gerard Pique picked up a fifth yellow card of the season and is suspended for next week’s top-of-the-table clash at Valencia, adding to the absence of fellow centre back Javier Mascherano. (Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond and Christian Radnedge)

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