MADRID: World and European champions Real Madrid maintained their steady improvement with a 3-1 derby victory away to Atletico Madrid.

Goals from Casemiro, Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale’s inflicted Atletico’s first home defeat of the season in all competitions and moved the European champions up to second, within five points of leaders Barcelona.

Antoine Griezmann equalised for Atletico after Casemiro’s overhead kick sent Real ahead, but Ramos converted a penalty before halftime to silence the home fans.

VAR was needed after Jose Gimenez brought down Vinicius Jr. on the edge of the box, with referee Xavier Estrada Fernandez deciding the foul continued into the area.

Atletico’s Alvaro Morata was denied a goal against his former side for offside before Bale claimed the visitors’ third.

Thomas Partey was dismissed for a second yellow card at the end of a disappointing afternoon for Diego Simeone’s side, who dropped to third after losing for the second weekend in a row.