Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Real Madrid: Player Ratings
On a day where FC Barcelona dropped points and Real Madrid had a golden chance of closing down the gap, they failed to do that rather miserably against a struggling Athletic Bilbao side. The game at San Mames ended in a 0-0 draw with Bilbao managing to hold out for a draw amidst an array of attacks while Sergio Ramos received a red card for his elbow on Aritz Aduriz.
Real Madrid hit the post twice but could not have a number of clear-cut chances in the game to win all three points. On that note, let's take a deeper look at how the game panned through our player ratings from the Athletic Bilbao versus Real Madrid game:
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 7.5/10
In what was termed by many as his Real Madrid audition, Kepa passed it with decent marks. The goalkeeper did not have to make a brilliant save or two in the match but his commanding of his box and his safe handling caught the eye. Definitely, a future a Real Madrid player!
Oscar De Marcos: 5/10
The full-back had a tough time out as he was entrusted with the responsibility of defending against Marcelo. The Brazilian was on fire which made De Marcos a mere spectator at times. He was also booked for a badly timed tackle on the Madrid left-back.
Unai Nunez: 8/10
The centre-back took brilliant positions and was ever present to thwart any potential Madrid attack. His block against a Raphael Varane header kept Bilbao in the game.
Xabier Etxeita: 6.5/10
Etxeita was good in the air and made some important interceptions. His wild tackle on Luka Modric was the only blot on his otherwise brilliant performance.
Mikel Balenziaga: 6/10
The experienced customer did his job with intensity but often lacked the courage to help out in attacks. He also failed to stop the number of crosses that were flowing in from his flank.
Mikel Rico: 7.5/10
Brilliant on the ball and even better off it! Rico was good in possession but his off the ball work in closing down the opposition and covering possibly every blade of grass was what caught the attention.
Ander Iturraspe: 5/10
The midfielder was keeping things ticking for Bilbao until he suffered an unfortunate first-half injury. He could only continue until the 39th minute.
Another Bilbao player who showed tremendous work rate! Susaeta was a threat on the left wing and often delivered deadly crosses into the box. He also had a chance to score but his chip against Navas could not find the back of the net.
Raul Garcia: 5/10
Garcia was more interested in arguing with the referee or with the Madrid players instead of doing his job. He failed to offer much in midfield and also missed a golden chance from a free kick rebound.
Inaki Williams: 7/10
His direct running caused the biggest headache for Real Madrid. His angled shot also produced the best save of the night from Navas. Though he often took too many players on at times, he was the most influential player for the home side.
Aritz Aduriz: 6.5/10
The veteran had a couple of decent chances on either side of the half but could not trouble Navas much. He was enjoying his physical battle with Sergio Ramos and had the last laugh at the end.
Mikel San Jose: 7/10
Replacing Iturraspe, San Jose delivered an industrious performance in the centre of the park. He could not help out in attack as he would have loved to but managed to impress with his blocks and interceptions.
Inigo Lekue: 6/10
Playing at right back, Lekue was slow at getting used to the pace of the game. But the youngster settled with time.
Inigo Cordoba: N/A
A late substitution in place of Inigo Williams. Cordoba didn't have the time to warrant a rating.