Benzema & Casemiro Fire Real Five Points Clear Of Barca
Spanish La Liga Report: Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid 18 March 2017
Spanish La Liga
Result: Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Real Madrid
Date: 18 March 2017
Venue: San Mames
Real Madrid moved five points clear of Barcelona, after goals from Karim Benzema and Casemiro secured a 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday evening.
Gareth Bale returned to the Los Blancos line-up, after missing the last two league games through suspension.
The home side did have the ball in the back of the net through Cristiano Ronaldo after nine minutes, but the Portuguese was flagged offside.
Real eventually broke the deadlock after 25 minutes, as Karim Benzema turned home Ronaldo's low cross from the left.
Benzema should have doubled the advantage in the 34th minute, but the Frenchman failed to make proper contact with Marcelo's cross from six-yards out.
Bilbao managed to hold their own in the first and managed to force Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas into a couple fine saves.
After a slow start, Navas was called into action after 64 minutes as he produced a superb save to kept out Inaki William's low strike.
Bilbao were not to be denied a minuter later when Raul Garcia flick-on was headed home by Aritz Aduriz, 1-1.
Their joy was short-live, Casermiro slotted home from close range, after the hosts failed to deal with Toni Kroos' corner, 1-2.
Bilbao pushed for an equaliser and went close in the 74th minute, but Navas pulled off another fine save to deny Williams.
Zinedine Zidane withdrew Ronaldo and Benzema in the closing stages, but Los Blancos managed to see off a late surge from the home side to clinch three points.