Spanish football’s ‘old classic’ rivalry

athletic bilbao club vs real madrid

Real Madrid resumed La Liga Santander after a spell of cup matches and knowing that Barcelona had already won their match to increase the points gap to 6. 

It is always a difficult ground to play in La Liga, especially when Bilbao faithful start chanting for their team in unison. The game started as expected Bilbao pressed very high up the pitch. They were running all over the place and not letting Madrid build anything for the first few minutes. After 5 minutes of constant pressure, Real Madrid started to take control of the game and they started passing brilliantly which resulted in the first shot of the match.

The game was all even and both the teams did get a few chances here and there without any success. Then finally in the 24th minute, Benzema broke the deadlock. Ceballos passed the ball to Valverde who crossed towards Benzema and Asensio, Asensio headed the ball but it was more of a back pass, Benzema was the fastest to react and he shot a half volley going backward to score the first goal of the game.  It was an amazing goal considering the way the ball came to Benzema, who had his back toward the goal and still knew where the goalpost was.

Real Madrid desperately needed this Victory after their slip-ups against Villareal and Real Betis. The match started becoming even again with both teams trying hard to take control and score. Inaki Williams was always trying to run behind the defenders and was a constant threat on the attack, similar was the case with Vinicius Junior, who was looking for any chance to run behind the defense. He did try to set Benzema up for another goal but Benzema couldn’t finish.

Image Credit: Bleacher Report

Real Madrid changed their midfield in order to get some control of the game late on since Bilbao was getting more chances on the goal. They were inches away from getting a goal through Nico Williams but he fired his shot wide. Real Madrid brought Modric, Kroos, and Rodrygo and then they started playing a counter-attacking game. It was the last minute of the normal time when Valverde and Rodrygo combined and later set the ball for Kroos to shoot, the ball did fall a little behind him but he somehow took the shot and scored the 2nd goal for Real Madrid. San Mames became silent for a second and then it was just a formality for Real Madrid to close the game with 4 added minutes. With this win, Real Madrid closed the gap and is still 3 points behind Barcelona in the La Liga race.

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