Real Madrid move closer to LaLiga title with seventh straight win
Athletic Club-Real Madrid - LaLiga live
Real Madrid maintained their 100% win record since the restart of LaLiga activity in June and once again the victory was overshadowed by a VAR decision which awarded Zidane's side a spot kick as the clock ticked down.
Despite limited appeals from the visiting side when Marcelo and Dani Garcia tangled, match official Gonzalez Gonzalez consulted the VAR screen and deemed that the Brazilian was impeded by the Athletic defender with Ramos slotting home the resulting penalty.
Ahead of that pivotal moment, both sides enjoyed spells of bright play and domination with Athletic having the upper hand of the action.
After the game, Athletic captain Muniain was interviewed by Spanish TV and stated: “we’ve seen how things have gone in recent weeks....depending which team it is, some penalties are given. Let everyone reach their own conclusions.”
Real Madrid march on and take a major step closer to securing the 2019/20 title and now lead FC Barcelona by seven points as the Catalan side face a tricky trip to Vila-real this evening with a win impressive to maintain any slender hopes of retaining their title.
So, over to FC Barcelona now who have to win against Villarreal tonight to keep any semblance of hope alive with Madrid, at least on paper enjoying an easier run in with games against Alaves (h), Granada, Villarreal (h) and Leganes to contend with.
All over in Bilbao, Real Madrid go 7 points clear at the top of the table and are within touching distance of the title with four games remaining for Zidane's men.
Frustration for Athletic and no doubt the decision by Gonzalez Gonzalez will dominate in the next few days.
Yuri also carded for back-chat.
Munain carded as he lashes out at Modric.
The game is totally disjointed as Madrid look to run down the clock and hang on to the all important prize of three points
Jovic on for Karim Benzema.
Casemiro carded for a late challenge on Munain.
Ramos carded for protesting and will its the Alaves game.
Jovic poised to enter the fray as Villalibre slots through a dangerous ball and Madrid slice away for a corner.
Five minutes of time to be added.
Into the final minute of normal time. Can Athletic deliver a late strike and keep the title race alive ?
Vinicius breaks into the box and slips as Unai Simon gathers.
Valderde off/Toni Kroos on
More urgency from Athletic as they sense time slipping away
Into the final ten minutes we go. Athletic very much derailed by the Ramos penalty with Madrid enjoying the better of the last minutes of action.
Athletic bring on Villalibre for Williams with Dani Garcia making way for Sancet.
Athletic now rattled with Dani Garcia booked for complaining. Despite not dominating, Madrid are ahead on the day and now lead Barcelona by 7 points at the summit of LaLiga.
Raul Garcia goes to ground in the area and looks for a spot kick. Ref having nothing as we head to a water break.
Lucas Vazquez on with Rodrygo off. Asensio off for Vinicius.
Fine take from the Camas born defender, right in the corner and out of Unai Simon's reach.
Ramos has been on point since being appointed new spot kick taker for the side.... the defender steps up and slots home
Correct decision from VAR I'd have to say.
Ref awards a spot kick after Garcia steps on Marcelo's ankle. Ramos to take.
Real Madrid piling on the pressure with Marcelo getting upended in the box. Ref wants to double check with VAR
Another lightning counter from the home side but once again Courtois was alert to intercept the final ball. Another solid display from the Belgian stopper who has been so solid for Zidane all season.
De Marcos and Vesga on for the home side ...Unai Lopez and Cordoba make way
Unai Simon alert and just snatches the ball as Rodrygo was poised to latch on to the ball.
Vinicius and Lucas warming up for Real Madrid.
A draw in Bilbao today is far from a disaster for Real Madrid given the four point cushion Zidane's side hold at the top of the league table and with Barcelona having to face in-form Villarreal later tonight in Vila-Real.
Better spell from Madrid now as Asensio wins his side a corner forcing Munain to concede. Carvajal whips the ball in from the right hand side but the move breaks down as Athletic strike on the break and Courtois saves the day with a fine intervention.
Carvajal slips as Athletic attack but the Basque side just lack that final ball in the danger zone as Madrid clear their lines.
Munain upends Ramos and the defender falls awkwardly. No card for the Athletic player with Ramos okay to carry on. The ball finds Benzema and the French striker is just unable to get the ball down for a strike on goal as Athletic clear.
Modric has a go from range but his right footed effort is easy for Simon who gathers with ease.
Benzema knocks the ball back to Casemiro and we're underway. No changes it would appear at the interval.
Athletic Club the first side to emerge from the break.... Madrid are now out too with the visitors to get the action underway.
A common thread developing is the dip In form being experienced by the Uruguayan central player. He's had another discreet performance this afternoon so far.
Just the one shot on target a piece for either side with Asensio's free kick the closest Madrid have come to in finding the net. Raul Garcia and Williams have gone close for the home side.
Gonzalez Gonzalez calls time on the action. All square at San Mames with the home side now dominating proceedings after an early bright start from Real Madrid.
Athletic win a late corner after fine work from Yuri who forces Carvajal to concede.
We'll have three minutes of time to be added on.
Asensio started off brightly but has waned somewhat and this is reflective of the team in general. Benzema goes close but is just inches away from an Asensio assist.
Possession stats now: Athletic 45% v 55% Real Madrid
Williams breaks free again and once again Militao was up to the task forcing the Athletic striker to commit an infraction. Great sprint between one two of the fastest players in LaLiga.
Raul Garcia booked for a foul on Marcelo. The veteran striker will now miss the home game vs. Sevilla through suspension.
Fair to say that the tide has turned and it's the home side with the initiative now.
A very tight offside and tough one to call....VAR would have been called upon should the ball have ended in the net.
William tries to lob Courtois and places the ball on the roof of the net, poor from the striker but the flag was up.
Marcelo clatters into Unai Lopez and pleads innocence. Neither side finding the same fluidity that was present in the initial stage of the action.
Yeray sitting with an ice pack on his calf muscle on the lower part of his right leg. That could rule the defender out for the rest of this truncated season which is expected to end on 19 July.
Water break called by the match official with all square in Bilbao. Both sides enjoying spells of domination with Madrid staring the better of the two teams and Athletic easing their way into the fray in the past 10 minutes.
Fine work from Rodrygo as he takes the ball to the by-line and floats in a dangerous ball with no player in a white shirt available to latch on to the assist as Athletic clear.
Williams finds himself in space but blazes over the bar from an acute angle. Athletic very much back in the thick of it after a 10 minute spell of total dominance from the visiting side.
Great delivery from Asesnio as he finds Rodrygo at the back post but the Brazilian heads over the bar.
Yeray off and Unai Nuñez his replacement.
Williams steaks away and find himself in a one on one but Militao is alert and robs the ball.
Athletic were hugely impressive despite their 1-0 loss in Camp Nou with Garitano having organised a highly disciplined defensive side. Garitano looks to be set to make an early change with Yeray apparentlly in trouble,
Raul Garcia tests Courtois with a header but the Belgian is alert to avert the danger.
A pattern developing now with Madrid in possession and Athletic waiting for a mis-placed ball to launch a counter and look to the pace of Iñaki Williams and Cordoba.
Once again Casemiro and Modric allowing the Athletic midfielders precious time on the ball with both men snapping and not allowing the home side to create.
Madrid dominating possession now, stroking the ball around with poise and purpose.
A look at Real Madrid's outstanding fixtures (Alaves at home, Granada away followed by a home game against Villarreal and a season ender at Butarque facing struggling Leganes) and it's blatant to see that this game in Bilbao, at least on paper, is the trickiest obstacle for Zidane in the race for the title.
Williams goes close as Marcelo deflects the ball for a corner. A let-off for Madrid but the flag was up and any goal would not have counted.
In the corresponding fixture at the Bernabeu between both sides this season, there were no goals in the December 2019 clash.
Asensio it is to strike and forces a fine stop from Unai Simon in the Athletic goal as Carvajal fails to find Benzema with the rebound. A let-off for Garitano's side there.
Both sides easing their way into the action with passages of possession as Benzema is upended at the edge in the area....danger for the home side and ideal for Asensio.
The referee sound his whistle and Unai Lopez gets the action underway.
Atletiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiic, Athletiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiic as the club anthem belts out from the stadium PA. Real Madrid in their classic all white, 'Los Leones' in their iconic red and white stripes with black shorts.
San Mamés looking resplendant bathed in the July sunshine and one stadium that does look orphaned by the lack of fans as the referee gives the order for the players to make their way to the pitch....
Next up for today's teams:
Athletic (h) to Sevilla
Real Madrid (h) to Deportivo Alaves
How worrying is Hazard's absence for Real Madrid ? Zidane attempted to play down his absence in yesterday's press conference but not having the Belgian around may not hamper the run to the league title, but he presence of the former Chesea player would be key to the Champions League clash against Man City.
Real Madrid's Vinicius, Carvajal and Sergio Ramos will need to be on their best behaviour with all players just one yellow card away from suspension. The same applies to Raul Garcia, I.Martinez and Cordoba for Garitano's side.
It's a hot balmy summer's day in Bilbao with a current temperature of 27C/81F with no rain forecast during the contest. We will have water breaks on the half hour mark and in the 75th minute of the action too.
Real Madrid carrying out their final stretches at San Mamés as kick-off looms.
Real Madrid favourites to return to the capital with maximum points today with a win for Zidane's men 2/1. A draw at 3/1 and a win for the home side at 4/1.
The defeat to Barcelona at Camp Nou the only blot on Garitano's copybook since the return with a draw against Atleti to be added to the five games below since the restart.
Massively impressive return from the Covid-19 hiatus for Zidane's men winning six games from six since the restart with the home wins over Eibar added to the listing below.
Today's match official is 45-year-old Jose Gonzalez Gonzalez
The new San Mamés stadium really is a majestic setting and will host Spain's group games in the postponed Euro 2020 competition when it takes place next summer.
Asensio and Rodrygo start for Zidane with Toni Kroos given a rest in the centre of the park with games coming thick and fast as part of this LaLiga restart.
Garitano for his part, opts for the veteran Raul Garcia alongside the always dangerous Iñaki Williams as the attacking threat for the home side.
Hello and a warm welcome to our live LaLiga coverage with San Mamés providing the backdrop for today's early kick-off as Athletic Club from the city of Bilbao face Real Madrid.