Real Madrid still stick to the top standings Barcelona. This was after Los Blancos won 2-0 at home to Athletic Bilbao.
In the match held at San Mames, Monday (23/1/2023) early morning WIB, Madrid scored goals in each half from Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos.
Madrid is now firmly in second place in the LaLiga standings with 41 points from 17 matches, three points difference from Barcelona. Bilbao is in eighth position with 26 points.
The course of the match Athletic Bilbao vs Real Madrid
Madrid made several changes from the Copa del Rey match against Villarreal. Toni Kroos and Luka Modric have been benched to give places to Dani Ceballos, Eduardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde.
Bilbao, which has never won over Madrid in the last 14 duels, tried to play aggressively from the early minutes. They pressed Madrid first and hoped to get a quick goal.
However, Madrid had the first chance in the seventh minute through Karim Benzema but the ball shot still flew over the bar.
Bilbao uses the speed of the Williams brothers in attack. Inaki Wlliams almost scored in the 17th minute after getting past Eder Militao’s mark, although he shot wide.
In the 22nd minute, Bilbao’s counter-attack managed to break down Madrid’s defense and Inaki ran away from Nacho’s guard. From a tight angle, he fired a shot that Courtois was able to save.
Madrid took a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute after Benzema got his name on the scoresheet. At the start Valverde’s gastric cross that led to Asensio was only touched with his head and directed to Benzema.
Karim Benzema scores Real Madrid’s first goal (Photo: AFP via Getty Images/ANDER GILLENEA)
Benzema immediately finished with a volley that rained into the bottom corner of Unai Simon’s goal.
Bilbao tried to reply to the goal but until halftime, Madrid still led 1-0. Entering the second half, Bilbao still took the initiative to attack.
However, Madrid still controlled the match and almost scored a second goal in the 66th minute when Asensio was free in front of goal when he received Benzema’s cut-back. However, Asensio shot wide.
Bilbao scored a goal in the 78th minute from the feet of Inaki Williams, maximizing the rebound from his partner’s chance, which Courtois pushed over. The goal was then disallowed for offside.
Madrid ensured the three points after scoring his second goal in the 90th minute. From counterattacks, Rodyrgo and Valverde worked together to dismantle Bilbao’s defense.
The final ball was at the feet of Kroos who was free in front of the penalty box and finished with a measured shot from 20 yards, which Unai Simon could not block.
Toni Kroos celebrates a goal against Bilbao (Photo: AP/Alvaro Barrientos)
The 2-0 score lasted for the visitors’ win in the Bilbao vs Madrid match.
Athletic Bilbao: Unai Simon; Oscar de Marcos, Aitor Paredes, Dani Vivian, Yuri Berchiche; Oier Zarraga, Mikel Vesga; Alex Berenguer, Oihan Sancet, Nico Williams; Inaki Williams
Real Madrid: Thibaut Courtois; Nacho, Antonio Rudiger, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy; Dani Ceballos, Eduardo Camavinga, Federico Valverde; Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio.