Barcelona will have the chance to reduce the gap at the top of La Liga to just one point after the Madrid rivals played out a fiercely contested draw on SundayCristiano Ronaldo came to Real Madrid's rescue in a thrilling Madrid derby as the Liga leaders drew 2-2 with Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon.
Atletico's last double over Real in the league came back in the 1950-51 season and Diego Simeone's men came close to repeating the trick on Sunday.
The hosts, three points behind leaders Real in the table, got off to a miserable start as Karim Benzema found the net from close range.
However, after Diego Costa was controversially denied a penalty when he appeared to be clipped by Sergio Ramos, Atletico turned things around courtesy of Koke's fierce finish in the 28th minute and a sensational long-range strike from skipper Gabi just before the break.
Atletico had two further penalty appeals turned down in the second half and saw coach German Burgos sent to the stands for confronting referee Carlos Delgado.
Real then snatched a dramatic late leveller when Ronaldo finished from 12 yards in the 82nd minute to extend his side's unbeaten run to 28 games in all competitions.
In the build-up to the clash, Atletico head coach Simeone claimed Madrid came into the match as the "most feared" side in Europe and they lived up to that billing by grabbing an early lead.
In just the third minute, Benzema broke the Atletico offside trap to prod Angel Di Maria's exquisite inswinging cross past the static Thibaut Courtois.
Referee Delgado incurred the wrath of Atleti after 12 minutes as he refused to award a penalty after Ramos looked to have tripped Costa, and objects appeared to be thrown towards the official as a result.
However, Atletico restore parity on 28 minutes when Arda worked himself into some space on the edge of the area and slipped the ball to Koke, who drilled into the bottom left hand corner.
Real soaked up considerable pressure at the end of the half, but Atletico ultimately took the lead as Gabi hit a ferocious 40-yard effort through a crowd of players and goalkeeper Diego Lopez was unable to react quickly enough.
Costa missed a huge chance to double the advantage seven minutes after the break as he latched on to Koke's pass over the Real defence, held off Pepe, and then fired wide with only Lopez to beat.
The homes side had two more penalty claims turned down just past the hour mark as Costa was involved in tangles with Pepe and then Alvaro Arbeloa.
The forward was booked for simulation following the second incident, which provoked a furious reaction from Atleti coach Burgos, who was sent to the stands for his angry protests.
And there was to be one more twist in the tale as Ronaldo spared Madrid's blushes by rifling in a low shot from 12 yards with eight minutes remaining.