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Benzema on target as Real Madrid defeats Athletic Bilbao

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Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema celebrating a goal in the match. | PHOTO: Fotmob |
  • Athletic Bilbao hosted Real Madrid in La Liga on Sunday evening 
  • Real Madrid came to the clash seeking a win to close on league leaders Barcelona
  • Goals from Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema ensured Real travelled back to Madrid with all the three points

Real Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 2-0 in a thrilling La Liga match on Sunday, thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos.

In the 24th minute at San Mames Stadium, seasoned France international Benzema beat Unai Simon with a spectacular volley to hook back a loose ball.

The 90th-minute breakaway goal by Kroos sealed the victory for Carlo Ancelotti’s team and kept the pressure on league-leading Barcelona.

However, Ernesto Valverde’s team will have to reflect on whether they should have earned a point after making a valiant effort to force a draw before Kroos’ goal dashed any ambitions.

Athletic Bilbao 0-2 Real Madrid:Kroos

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos celebrates after scoring against Athletic Bilbao in the La Liga clash. | PHOTO: AP |

Madrid had to make sure they maintained up with Barca by defeating Getafe after the latter’s triumph.

They had the upper hand over their opponents in a first half that was not lacking on possibilities, and they showed a cunning ability to profit from their hosts’ errors.

That came in handy when Benzema turned around Marco Asensio’s misdirected header and scored.

Madrid’s earliest attempts to increase the lead were unsuccessful, with Asensio’s attempt in the 66th minute narrowly missing the left post.

With 13 minutes remaining, Inaki Williams thought he had equalized for the home team, but the linesman’s flag disallowed the goal with an offside ruling against Gorka Guruzeta.

At the very last moment, Kroos intercepted a Rodrygo pass and calmly slid the ball home from outside the area, dashing whatever hopes Athletic had of salvaging a late draw.

Real Madrid maintains the tempo

The team led by Ancelotti travelled to Bilbao, aware that lost points may drastically hurt their chances of winning the championship.

They appeared to be at risk of losing their momentum with a one-goal advantage, but they ultimately deserved their victory and can move forward with confidence thanks to the outcome.

Athletic Club 0-2 Real Madrid:

Real Madrid players celebrate after Karim Benzema scored in the La Liga clash against Athletic Bilbao. | PHOTO: Eurosport |

Benzema makes more La Liga history

It was the Frenchman’s 228th goal for Madrid in the competition, which is more significant than the fact that it was another strike of the highest calibre.

He now shares second place with Raul on the team’s all-time La Liga scoring list, one point behind Cristiano Ronaldo, a former teammate, who has 311.

It was not to be for Valverde and his team, who came out strong in the second half in an effort to defeat one of the heavyweight teams in the division.

With 18 shots to Madrid’s 10, they outgunned their visitors throughout, but with just three of those on target, they ultimately failed to earn a share of the spoils.

Both sides are in Copa del Rey quarter-final action on Thursday, with Athletic Bilbao facing Valencia and Real Madrid squaring up with local rivals Atletico Madrid.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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