Remember Sir Alex Ferguson's 'squeeky bum time' I referred to in my last article before El Derbi? The sense of tension that comes with an end-of-season run in? You felt it when Falcao levelled for Atleti at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday night didn't you? Go on, admit it. For 13 minutes at least, squeeky bum time made its presence felt amongst Madridistas.
Cristiano Ronaldo knew we all felt it, and he did something about it. Boy did he do something about it. A cracker of a goal to put Los Blancos back in control, after his first cracker had opened the scoring. A hat-trick, his seventh of the season, his 40th Liga goal of the season, helped Madrid to victory and restored their four-point gap at the top of the Primera Division. Jose Callejon added a fourth for good measure.
It was a fourth goal that probably flattered Madrid. Let's be honest, Atleti pushed Mourinho and his men all the way and it was never a 4-1-looking result. It's what I expected from Diego Simeone's men - battling, determined, strong. Especially in the early stages. Atleti looked to be targeting Ronaldo. Three strong challenges on the Portuguese forward inside the first five minutes if I remember rightly. Simeone probably telling his players to put Ronaldo firmly in his place. Well, that backfired didn't it?
Ronaldo always gets tagged as a player who can't hack it in the big games. With big games, read Barcelona. A 'bully' some say, who has his day against the lesser teams but disappears in the big ones. This despite him scoring the winner against Barca in the Copa del Rey final last season. Now he's scored a hat-trick at the Calderon in a Madrid derby. Not just that, but he pulled his team-mates out of a bit of a problem with the scores at 1-1. Hat-tricks have lost a bit of their magic this season for CR7 and Messi because of the sheer number they've scored. The one on Wednesday night will surely be the most important of them all.
Los Blancos never really looked settled until Ronaldo scored his second. Even at 1-0, they looked slightly nervous despite the chances they'd created. Was this down to the derby-day atmosphere at the Calderon? Probably not, given Madrid's record against their neighbours over the last two decades, and also given the fact Madrid performed so well at the Camp Nou in the cup earlier this year. Being anxious at letting a ten-point lead over Barca slip to just a point going into the game? Probably, even though Xabi Alonso denied it post-match (it's always easy to deny just after dishing out a 4-1 victory!).
Atleti looked determined to end their winless run in El Derbi. Fast pace, tough tackles, and some good attacking play - especially in the first half, had Los Blancos up against it. Madrid were especially vulnerable on the wings, highlighting the need for two new full-backs. It needed something special to open the scoring and Ronaldo provided it. Falcao's leveller was a fine one for the red and whites, but he should have been picked up. As good a player as Falcao is, he was given too much space to plant his header beyond Iker Casillas.
That goal will have started squeeky bum time but Ronaldo saved the day with his wonder goal, penalty and then Jose Callejon rubbed salt into the Atleti wounds. A good day at the office, four points back ahead and the local bragging rights.
The four goals also edged Madrid ever-closer to the goalscoring record in La Liga, previously set by Los Blancos under Josh Toshack's time as manager. They've now scored 104 in the league, three short of the 107 set by Madrid in the 1989-90 campaign. It's only a matter of time before the record goes, and could happen as soon as this Saturday given Madrid's scoring at the Santigao Bernabeu. Relegation-threatened Sporting at the visitors to the Spanish capital and a high-scoring game, for the hosts at least, is expected.
Sporting look doomed to relegation, especially after Villarreal's stunning 2-1 victory over Malaga that left the bottom three adrift. Sporting could well fold like a house of cards at the Bernabeu. I'm sure Cristiano and co. will be licking their lips at the proposition of a goal haul. But will La Liga's top-scorer even be playing? One interesting part of El Derbi was the fact both Xabi Alonso and Ronaldo were one booking away from a suspension. Alonso was booked so misses this weekend's game, but Ronaldo is still treading that tightrope. Will Mourinho risk him this weekend? A yellow card would (I believe) see him miss that all-important trip to the Camp Nou. Probably time to give him a rest if that's the case.
Follow me on Twitter: @nicholasrigg