Samuel Lino was handed his first-ever LaLiga start for Los Rojiblancos by Diego Simeone and made an immediate impact, cutting inside Federico Valverde and delivering a wonderful cross that Morata clinically glanced into the bottom corner.
Atleti were creating havoc in the wide spaces that were being left and got their reward again 18 minutes in, as Saul Niguez’s brilliant dinked cross picked out Antoine Griezmann, who also left Kepa Arrizabalaga helpless and Los Blancos stunned.
Real tried to work opportunities but were struggling against a well-organised Atleti side, which resulted in a hopeful Eduardo Camavinga strike that deflected off Saul before finding the roof of Jan Oblak’s net as the half-hour mark approached.
Toni Kroos eventually conjured the moment of magic that Los Blancos craved as he cut across Marcos Llorente and fired a venomous strike out of Oblak’s reach.
Camavinga then thought he’d equalised before the break when David Alaba’s attempt hit the post and landed at his feet, but Antonio Rudiger was adjudged to have been offside when the cross came in.
Incredibly, after all of Real’s pressure before the break, Atleti scored inside a minute of the second period as another Saul cross was met by Morata, who headed in his fifth goal in as many league games this term.
Mario Hermoso came agonisingly close to compounding the visitors’ misery with a looping header that clipped the crossbar on its way over, and Carlo Ancelotti soon responded with a triple change.
That brought a lift as Rodrygo’s powerful shot forced a brave block from Stefan Savić, before Aurelien Tchouameni and Rudiger sent ambitious strikes from range agonisingly wide.
Brahim Díaz was also introduced but saw his attempt tipped over after making a burst up the pitch, as Atleti continued their fantastic unbeaten run at the Metropolitano Stadium, which stretches back to January. Los Rojiblancos also ended Real’s perfect start to the season in all competitions and prevented them from reclaiming top spot in LaLiga.