La Liga 2016/17: Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Real Madrid, Player ratings
Cristiano Ronaldo and Casemiro provided the vital contributions for Real Madrid as Los Blancos confirmed their place at the top of La Liga.
Cristiano Ronaldo chipped in with two assists in the Basque country as Real Madrid scraped another hard-earned three points in La Liga, ensuring that Zinedine Zidane’s side go into the international break at the top of the pile in the Spanish top flight.
Goals from Karim Benzema and Casemiro wrapped up the win in a feisty and competitive affair at San Mames on Saturday afternoon.
Kepa - 6/10
Made a couple of brilliant reflex saves in the first half to keep the scoreline tight, and the young goalkeeper had no chance of stopping either goal from the visitors. Had a quieter second half where he wasn’t asked to do much more than pick the ball out of his own net.
Oscar De Marcos - 5/10
Wasn't afraid to get forward and try to link up with Inaki Williams, but his final ball wasn’t there in the final third. Did struggle with Marcelo overlapping at times and was caught out of position occasionally.
Yeray Alvarez - 7/10
Calm on the ball and was useful in playing neat passes into the midfield third, and kept tabs on Benzema and Ronaldo for long periods. Read the game very well and was often able to intercept ahead of his man.
Aymeric Laporte - 6/10
Occasionally was caught a little bit out of position, but did carry possession very often and was keen to help build from the back. Was a bit of a threat aerially in the opposition box.
Mikel Balenziaga - 6/10
Didn’t do too badly defensively, as Gareth Bale had a quiet game for Real Madrid, but the flight of his crosses from the left-hand side was often a little bit too high for Aduriz to truly threaten the goal for Athletic.
Benat Etxeberria - 6/10
Moved the ball quickly and always wanted possession, but couldn’t affect too much in the final third. His set-piece deliveries were not up to their usual best. Started very brightly, but as Real Madrid took control of the game his role diminished.
Ander Iturraspe - 6/10
His height was useful when defending set pieces for the home side, but after a bright start to the game, he was unable to control the match with Benat. A quiet performance all round, as he failed to truly get hold of the ball to try and dictate proceedings.
Inigo Lekue - 6/10
Threatened when cutting in from the left-hand side in the first half and wasn’t afraid to run at his opponents, but didn’t offer any kind of cutting edge or quality in terms of crosses or shots on goal.
Raul Garcia - 6/10
Spent more time worrying about fouling or annoying his opponents than actually playing football, but the physical Spaniard provided a good headed assist for Aduriz’s equaliser. Strong in the tackle but was incredibly fortunate to not get booked.
Inaki Williams - 7/10
Did very well to use his pace to get beyond Marcelo and cause some problems for the Brazil international, but his final ball was terrible. Should have scored in the second half, after being picked out by a great cross from the right, but scuffed his effort. Could have been a match-winner.
Aritz Aduriz - 6/10
Converted from close range to equalise for Athletic in the second half, but the veteran striker didn’t often get the service that he needed to truly be a regular presence in the game. Battled and worked hard, but rarely tested Navas.
Muniain - 5/10
Offered very little quality on the ball and was guilty of wasting possession in good areas of the field. Didn’t ever seem to get his first touch sharp enough to make an impact.
Mikel Rico - 5/10
Injected into the game to add some fresh legs, but the substitute did little other than just help with pressing as Real Madrid tried to shut the game down.
Susaeta - 5/10
Squandered a late opportunity to whip in a dangerous free-kick terribly, after doing quite well to pick up a couple of fouls when on the run.