Today’s game between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao has exposed the shortcomings of both teams. Carlo Ancelotti’s players emerged victorious from this clash, but they themselves asked for trouble. However, numerous losses and devotion to the initiative did not translate into goals scored by their rivals, who were grossly ineffective. Not for the first time, anyway.
Real Madrid – Athletic Bilbao. Williams’ indolence
At the beginning of the game, the pressure of Carlo Ancelotti’s players was visible. The kings played an eye-catching combination ball. Marco Asensio was very active from the very first minutes. Real evidently did not want a repeat of the match against Sevilla, in which he introduced a nerve at his own request. Toni Kroos played a good match. He quickly noticed that Marcelino’s players left plenty of space just in front of the penalty area and gave an excuse to attempt shots from outside the penalty area. And it was the shot from a distance that turned out to be crucial in scoring the only goal of the Kings in this match. Los Blancos launched a brilliant attack. The quick exchange of passes between Vinicius and Luka Modric opened the way for Marco Asensio to shoot. The shot was good and so was Unai Simon’s intervention, but the ball hit Modric’s feet as he assisted Karim Benzema’s goal.
Real prevailed, but traditionally delivered gifts to their rivals from time to time. First, there was a big misunderstanding on the Thibaut Courtois-Eder Militao line. David Alaba then passed the ball, which eventually landed in Inaki Williams’ feet. He took the left and the right pushed the ball over the end line. It looked comical. Anyway, it must be said directly that Williams played a hopeless match. First, he took an excellent pass from Dani Garcia with his hand. A moment later, he was unable to take advantage of Eder Militao’s mistake and squeezed only a corner from the gift from the Brazilian.
It was not without controversy. Unai Nunez dealt very hard against Karim Benzema following Vinicius’ great cross. The referee had grounds for giving a soft penalty, but did not.
Real Madrid – Athletic Bilbao. How is Real not conceding a goal?
After the break, Marcelino’s team played boldly. Oier Zarraga awoke. Iker Munian played brilliantly, driving most of Athletic’s attacks. He could create an advantage in an instant, but he lacked worthy partners. In one of the actions, he easily outplayed David Alaba and played well for Raul Garcia, but the latter was forewarned by Casemiro at the last moment. It was still evident that Bask lacked a class forward. Inaki Williams wasted subsequent situations. To make matters worse, he looked equally weak in the game. He can be praised for only one play, when he took on two Real players and played to Raul Garcia, who opened the way for a shot to Dani Garcia.
Athletic took the lead in the second half without a doubt. Real had a lot of downtime in the second half. This prompted Carlo Ancelotti to make changes. Modrić, who was a player of contrasts that day, went down. In several offensive actions of Real – including goal – he was able to impress, but on the other hand, in many parts of the game he wandered on the pitch and suffered two serious losses, which ended with dangerous counterattacks by the guests.
A good substitution was given by Oihan Sancet, who put David Alaba down, and only a good intervention by Thibaut Courtois saved Real from conceding a goal. Moments later, Alex Berenguer played to Mikel Vesgi, who hit well, but his face shot was defended by Eder Militao. Basque Country players could and should have taken a draw from Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. They can only blame themselves for going back to Bilbao empty-handed. And Real? Well. You should expect a better game from the Kings.
Real Madrid – Athletic Bilbao 1: 0 (1: 0)
K. Benzema 40 ′
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