Real Madrid claimed bragging rights of the 141st Madrid derby with a 1-0 win over Atletico Madrid courtesy of Karim Benzema's second-half strike
Atletico were looking to arrest their poor run of form that has seen them go four games without a win while Real were aiming to extend their stay at the summit of the table.
Real dominated the opening exchanges of the Madrid derby as Sergio Ramos came close to breaking the deadlock in the seventh minute when Kroos crossed the ball in from the left and Sergio Ramos hooked a volley towards the far post which missed the target narrowly.
Atletico settled well into the game and got their first real opening of the clash in the 18th minute when Vitolo hit a loose ball in the area with Courtois getting down to make the save as the rebound was cleared for a corner just before Morata could pounce.
Diego Simeone's men should have gone into the half time break leading but their profligacy let them down again in the 42nd minute when Angel Correra broke the offside trap to run from the halfway line but his effort hit the outside of the post on its way out.
Zinedine Zidane made a double substitution at the start of the second half as he took off Toni Kroos for Vinicious Jr as Lucas Vasquez came on for Isco.
The substitutions worked their magic in the 56th minute when Vinicius slid in a low through ball to Mendy on the left and the French defender produced a perfect curling cross to pick out Benzema in the center who nonchalantly tapped in the ball to put Real ahead.
Real almost doubled their lead in the 82nd minute when Vinicius carried the ball into the area and cut back in what is becoming a trademark move from the Brazilian but his effort let him down with his feeble shot easily gathered by Jan Oblak.
Madrid held on for the win to momentarily open up a six-point gap at the summit of the league while Atletico remain fifth with 36 points from 22 games.
Real Madrid next face Real Sociedad on Thursday, February 6 in the Copa del Rey while Atletico Madrid look to pick themselves up against Granada on Saturday, February 8.