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Athletic Club v Real Madrid Live Commentary, 05/07/2020

FT
0 - 1
ATH
RMA
Sergio Ramos (73 pen)
San Mamés Barria

Commentary

That's all for now though, goodbye!
The result means that Madrid pile the pressure onto Barcelona by going seven points clear at the summit of La Liga with just four games left to play. Bilbao, meanwhile, remain in eighth but miss an opportunity to jump past Real Sociedad and closer to European qualification.
Real Madrid claim a narrow, priceless victory after a tight game against Bilbao. The first half was an open affair with both teams creating plenty of chances: Benzema and Rodrygo wasted huge chances for Madrid, while Raul Garcia went close for the hosts. However, the away side took control of the second half and dominated the play until finally opening the scoring through a Ramos penalty after Marcelo was tripped in the area. After that, Bilbao worked hard to try and find an equaliser, but Madrid expertly slowed the game down and held on to a huge three points.
90' + 7' FULL TIME: Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Real Madrid
Dani Carvajal
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
90' + 6' Carvajal is booked for kicking the ball angrily at Yuri during the scuffle at the end. Madrid won't mind this late delay at all as they try and secure their win.
Yuri
Yellow Card
Athletic Club
90' + 6' Yuri is also booked for Bilbao after pushing players in the confrontations after Muniain's tackle.
Muniain
Yellow Card
Athletic Club
90' + 5' Muniain is booked for a late challenge on Modric as the game threatens to boil over late on.
L. Jović
K. Benzema
Real Madrid
90' + 3' Madrid are doing an excellent job of slowing the game down as Benzema trudges off to be replaced by Jovic.
Casemiro
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
90' + 3' Casemiro is booked next after a heavy challenge near the halfway line.
Sergio Ramos
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
90' + 1' Ramos is booked for his complaints to the referee after Villalibre's challenge on Militao.
90' + 1' Villalibre robs Militao deep inside the Madrid half and storms towards goal before hitting a firm pass across the face of goal that Ramos does brilliantly to slide across and hack away for a corner.
90' + 1' Five minutes of stoppage time are added as Bilbao continue to push for an equaliser.
89' Brilliant save from Simon! Benzema and Kroos play a clever one-two on the edge of the box, allowing the striker to skip clean through on goal! However, Simon races out to close down the angle and Benzema can only prod his finish straight at the goalkeeper!
87' Modric flicks a deft pass towards Kroos in the box, but the midfielder can't quite connect with the throughball to finish the game off.
T. Kroos
F. Valverde
Real Madrid
85' Valverde makes way for Kroos in midfield after an energetic, defensive performance in midfield.
85' Sancet beats Militao down the left flank before scooping a clever cross into the box towards De Marcos, who can only stab a feeble effort high and wide.
83' The hosts are beginning to pass it around a little more fluently as Madrid drop back. Their latest attack culminates with a whipped cross from Sancet that can't quite connect with Raul Garcia at the back post.
81' Well, Madrid have dominated this second period and although their penalty was awarded without causing too much pressure, they just about deserve their lead. Bilbao, meanwhile, will need a sudden change of fortune to find a leveler now.
78' The game is paused for the second half drinks break.
Asier Villalibre
I. Williams
Athletic Club
78' Substitution Iñaki Williams Arthuer Asier Villalibre Molina
Oihan Sancet
Dani García
Athletic Club
78' Dani Garcia also comes off after giving away the penalty as Villalibre takes his place in midfield.
76' Bilbao go in search of an equaliser immediately and this time Raul Garcia goes down under the challenge of Ramos in the area! However, there looked to be little in the challenge and the referee doesn't check his decision with VAR.
Vinícius Júnior
Marco Asensio
Real Madrid
74' Asensio also makes way for Vinicius as Madrid use a double substitution to refresh their front three.
Lucas Vázquez
Rodrygo
Real Madrid
74' Rodrygo makes way for Vazquez on the right flank for Madrid.
Sergio Ramos
Penalty Goal
Real Madrid
73' RAMOS TUCKS IT AWAY! 1-0 Madrid! Ramos steps up calmly and - despite frantic dancing from Simon - slots the penalty into the bottom-left corner and beyond the correct dive of the goalkeeper!
Dani García
Yellow Card
Athletic Club
73' Yellow Card Daniel García Carrillo
71' Marcelo and Dani Garcia collide at pace just inside the box, forcing the referee to conduct a check with VAR for a penalty. After a brief delay, the replay shows that Marcelo just got to the ball before the midfielder and a penalty is awarded!
69' Madrid have dominated this second half but they still haven't been able to create that one clear chance to take the lead.
67' The hosts make a rare foray forward as De Marcos picks out Raul Garcia in the box, but the attacker is isolated and can't quite manage to bundle his way to goal.
65' Vesga's first intervention of the game is a crucial one: Benzema gathers a deep cross at the back post and attempts to slip a deft pass through to Asensio but the Bilbao midfielder is there to stretch to make a vital interception and nullify the attack.
De Marcos
Iñigo Córdoba
Athletic Club
63' Cordoba is replaced by De Marcos on the left flank as the hosts make a double substitution to make change the impetus of the match.
Mikel Vesga
Unai López
Athletic Club
63' Lopez is replaced in midfield by Vesga as Bilbao search for an injection of energy.
62' The away side continue to exert pressure with another corner, but this delivery is headed tamely over the bar by Ramos.
60' Strong save from Simon! Rodrygo sneaks past Yuri on the edge of the box and momentarily it looks as though he's clean through! However, his first touch into the box is heavy and Simon rapidly charges out and snatches the ball at the feet of the attacker!
58' Raul Garcia cracks off a speculative volley from 25 yards that Valverde bravely charges down.
57' Madrid's share of possession has shot up from 56% in the first half to 66% so far in the second 45. They've managed to grab control of the game and now they'll be desperate to find a goal to match.
55' The hosts quickly counter-attack and launch their first foray forward of the half, as Capa shimmies down the right-wing before clipping in a cross that Courtois does well to claim ahead of Williams.
54' The away side force their first corner of the game, but Asensio's delivery evades everyone and Bilbao eventually clear.
52' Madrid have started the second period with intent: they've controlled the game much more effectively so far and their purposeful possession has stretched the Bilbao backline.
50' Madrid push forward again and this time Valverde picks out Benzema deep inside the area, but the striker can't create the space to shoot and instead he elects to lay it off to Modric who also gets crowded out and the hosts clear.
48' The away side work a neat move as Rodrygo finds Benzema in a pocket of space, before it culminates with Modric cutting inside from the left flank and swerving a shot from 25 yards that goes straight at Simon and into the goalkeeper's grasp.
46' Madrid get the second half underway.
Looking ahead to the second half, it's unlikely that the game will remain goalless; nevertheless, the longer it remains level the more likely it is that both sides will decide to throw more and more numbers forward in search of a winner.
Bilbao and Madrid head into the break level after an entertaining first half. Both teams started with an attacking focus and could feel disappointed that they don't have the lead so far. The away side have been wasteful: Rodrygo and Benzema were both guilty of missing the target with headers from point-blank range. But they'll feel relieved that the hosts have been similarly profligate. Raul Garcia powered a header straight at Courtois, while the lively Williams has also failed to really test the Madrid goalkeeper.
45' + 3' HALF TIME: Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Real Madrid
45' + 2' Three minutes of stoppage time have been added.
45' Benzema goes inches away from scoring! Asensio brilliantly skips past Capa again and dinks in an inviting cross towards Benzema, who glances a header narrowly wide of the far post from close range!
43' Lopez swings in another cross from deep, but once again Militao is there to firmly hack the cross away from danger. Madrid look as though they're content to try and take this scoreline into the break.
41' Williams neatly breaks away again on the halfway line and tries to take Militao on, but the defender does superbly to hold him off and eventually win a free-kick for himself inside the box.
Raúl García
Yellow Card
Athletic Club
39' Raul Garcia is shown a yellow card for a vicious lunge on Marcelo that catches the defender above the knee.
38' Valverde firmly tackles Cordoba on the halfway line and it looks initially as though Madrid will counter-attack, but Benzema is called back for an offside and Bilbao rebuild from the pack.
36' Raul Garcia flicks a delightful throughball towards Williams who finds himself one-on-one before dinking an effort just over the bar. However, the flag had been raised just before the finish and Madrid were never in danger of conceding.
34' Madrid have controlled the game in a subdued way since the drinks break. The away side have calmly shuttled possession around their back four in an attempt to slow the game down.
32' Raul Garcia has come closest to the opening the scoring for Bilbao today and it's unsurprising: the striker has already scored six home goals in La Liga this season and is just one goal away from matching his best scoring record in home matches for a single campaign.
29' The game is paused for a drinks break after an open start to the game.
27' This has been a lively encounter so far! Both sets of attackers are causing plenty of problems, largely because both teams are making a real commitment towards positive football - the sides realise that only a win will help them meet their ambitions for the rest of the season and it's been reflected in their mentalities.
25' Williams bursts delightfully past Militao and into the box, but he elects to shoot from a tight angle and his powerful effort whistles well over the bar.
23' Madrid waste a massive chance! Modric dummies a pass and deftly allows Asensio to scurry away down the left flank, where the attacker slams a pass across the face of goal towards Rodrygo, who stoops at the back post and heads it over from close range! He really should have at least hit the target there, and if he had, Simon would have had little chance of stopping it.
Unai Núñez
Yeray
Athletic Club
21' Yeray is replaced by Nunez at the back after picking up a slight injury.
21' Williams elegantly darts past Ramos and rapidly charges towards goal, however, Militao slides across and tackles the striker just as he's about to enter the box.
19' Yeray floats another deep cross towards Raul Garcia, but this time Courtois anticipates the danger and sails out to claim the delivery. Nevertheless, the Bilbao striker is causing plenty of problems right now.
17' Bilbao almost open the scoring! The hosts quickly push forward again and this time Lopez floats in a devious cross from the right flank that arcs towards Raul Garcia at the back post, who powers a header towards goal that Courtois does well to firmly beat away!
15' Asensio lofts a hopeful pass up towards Benzema who knocks it down for Rodrygo, and initially it looks as though the attacker will have an opportunity to shoot, but Yuri recovers well to steal possession away.
13' Muniain and Capa combine neatly down the right flank, before the former tries to slip a throughball towards Williams, but his pass is misplaced and Madrid clear.
11' If Madrid are to claim a crucial victory today, you'd imagine they'll lean heavily on Benzema up top. The French striker has been involved in a goal in each of his last three away games, and, what's more, his career record against Bilbao is superb: he's collected 11 goals and five assists against the hosts during his career.
9' Both teams have started with real intensity so far. Bilbao have been direct and aggressive and they've attempted to unsettle Madrid, but the away side have been considered in possession and they've looked similarly dangerous going forward.
7' Brilliant defending from Marcelo! Cordoba whips in a clever cross from deep that finds Williams free five yards out! However, Marcelo rushes back to block the attacker's shot from close range, and although the flag belatedly goes up, none of the players were to know.
5' Madrid go close! Asensio lashes a free-kick from 25 yards that arrows towards the bottom corner, where it's pushed away by Simon into the path of Carvajal who can't quite square it accurately to Benzema! The defender will be rueing that misplaced pass if the score remains level.
3' Madrid attempt to settle into the game with a long spell of possession, but the move eventually breaks down when Rodrygo takes a heavy touch from Modric's diagonal pass.
2' The hosts immediately clip a long pass up towards Raul Garcia, whose cushioned header just evades the path of the onrushing Williams.
1' Bilbao get the first half underway.
The players are emerging from the tunnel and kick off is just seconds away!
Recent history shows just how difficult it’ll be for Bilbao to upset the away side though: they’re winless in their last nine games against Madrid – a run stretching back to 2015!
Madrid, on the other hand, make five changes as they freshen their lineup. Varane drops out of the squad through injury, with Militao coming in at the back, while Marcelo, Valverde, Asensio and Rodrygo also come in.
Bilbao are unchanged from the side that claimed a precious 2-0 victory away at Valencia, but there is some suggestion that they might switch from a more conservative 4-2-3-1 and take the game to Madrid with a 4-4-2 formation.
SUBS: Isco, Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, Lucas Vazquez, Luka Jovic, Mariano, Javi Hernandez, Vinicius Junior, Brahim Diaz, Alphonse Areola, Diego Altube, Ferland Mendy.
REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Eder Militao, Marcelo; Luka Modric, Casemiro, Federico Valverde; Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema, Rodrygo.
SUBS: Ibai Gomez, Unai Nunez, Iago Herrerin, Mikel San Jose, Gaizka Larrazabal, Oscar De Marcos, Inigo Lekue, Asier Villalibre, Kenan Kodro, Oihan Sancet, Mikel Vesga, Mikel Balenziaga.
ATHLETIC BILBAO (4-4-2): Unai Simon; Ander Capa, Yeray Alvarez, Inigo Martinez, Yuri; Iker Muniain, Dani Garcia, Unai Lopez, Inigo Cordoba; Inaki Williams, Raul Garcia.
Madrid, meanwhile, arrive in Bilbao in the midst of a fiercely contested title race. They’ve won their last six straight games and another victory today would extend their lead at the top to seven points over Barcelona.
Hello and welcome to live commentary of this La Liga fixture between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid. The hosts find themselves eighth in the table and enter the contest in fine form: they’ve lost just once in their last eight games – away at Barcelona, at that – and they’ll be desperate for three points today to continue their push for European qualification.