La Liga 2016/17: Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Real Madrid - 5 Talking Points
Cristiano Ronaldo assisted two goals as Real Madrid move 5 points clear at the top of La Liga with the win.
Real Madrid clinched a narrow 2-1 victory against Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames to go 5 points clear at the top of La Liga. The win came courtesy of goals from Karim Benzema and Casemiro, with both goals being set up by none other than Cristiano Ronaldo.
Zinedine Zidane’s side took the lead through Benzema in the 25th minute when the Frenchman’s first-time shot beat the Bilbao goalkeeper after Ronaldo had squared the ball for him to tap home. Aritz Aduriz scored the equalizer for the home side in the 65th minute to set up an exciting finale before Casemiro bundled home from close range to seal the win for Los Blancos.
Here are the biggest talking points from the game:
#1 Discipline a bigger issue for Real Madrid than injuries
Real Madrid’s title challenge looked to be in jeopardy in recent weeks due to the absence of key personnel at crucial times. Despite that, Zinedine Zidane’s side have managed to come up trumps and restore their lead at the top of the La Liga.
However, with games coming thick and fast towards the business end of the tournament, his side’s disciplinary record is a bigger concern for Zidane than injuries. Gareth Bale had to miss the last 3 games due to a red-card received in the 3-3 draw against Las Palmas earlier in the month.
Casemiro will have to sit out of the next home clash against Alaves due to a yellow card picked up during the win over Bilbao. The Brazilian was lucky to have lasted the full 90 minutes against the Basque outfit having been involved in numerous altercations with opposition players during the game.
Zidane needs to control his players if they are to win the La Liga title this season, otherwise, it will again be a case of falling just short for the Santiago Bernabeu outfit.