- End of 2nd Half
- 2nd Half
- 1st Half
Real Madrid - Athletic Club
Liga - 21 April 2019
Liga – Follow the Football match between Real Madrid and Athletic Club live with Eurosport. The match starts at 15:15 on 21 April 2019. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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It's over! The Karim Benzema Show sees the Frenchman net a hat-trick and help Real Madrid to a convincing victory. Los Blancos close the gap on second-placed Atletico Madrid to four points.
- GoalKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
GOAL! Real Madrid 3-0 Athletic Bilbao
Benzema with his hat-trick! A pass over the top sees Herrerin rush off his line but he can only head the ball into the path of Bale. He lays it back to Benzema and from all of 30 yards he curls it into an empty net.
CHANCE! How does Bale not score? He is released through on goal and tries to lift the ball over Herrerin but gets too much zip on the shot and can only watch as it drifts agonisingly over the crossbar.
GOOD SAVE! He has had barely anything to do all afternoon but Navas is alert enough to save Williams' goal-bound header with his feet.
Keen to make an impression, Diaz is straight into the action. He drives down the flank and fizzes a cross into the centre, but Herrerin gets enough on the ball before it's hacked clear.
- OffMarco AsensioReal Madrid
- OnBrahim DíazReal Madrid
Madrid's final change sees Brahim Diaz replacing Asensio.
- Yellow cardKeylor NavasReal Madrid
Navas goes into the book for timewasting.
NO PENALTY! Williams is bearing down on goal until Vallejo makes a crucial last-ditch challenge on the Bilbao forward. He wants a penalty but there's nothing doing from the referee. Right decision.
Benzema now has 20 league goals this season, a fine return considering how ordinary Madrid have been.
- GoalKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Athletic Bilbao
Benzema at the double! Bale latches onto a ball over the top, forcing a corner. Was he offside? The linesman's flag stays down. Modric's corner is delivered to the far post where the unmarked Benzema finishes with a stooped header.
- OffRaúl GarcíaAthletic Club
- OnAritz AdurizAthletic Club
Double Bilbao change: Aritz Aduriz comes on for Garcia, while Unai Lopez replaces Cordoba.
SAVE! This is better from Bilbao. A long ball from midfield is nodded down by Williams to Garcia but his volleyed effort is comfortably stopped by Navas, who has had virtually nothing to do all afternoon.
Quick footwork from Williams inside the box creates room for a shot but he opts to play a square pass to no one instead of shooting! A chance for Bilbao goes begging.
- OffLucas VázquezReal Madrid
- OnGareth BaleReal Madrid
A double Madrid switch sees Bale and Isco replace Vasquez and Kroos.
- Yellow cardToni KroosReal Madrid
Asensio's cross is dangerous but Bilbao come away with the ball. Kroos then goes into the book for a cynical foul to prevent the visitors breaking. It has been another disappointing performance from the German international.
Bilbao force a corner and they're enjoying another decent spell in the match. The ball is like a magnet to the head of Varane's head, however, as he rises highest to clear the resulting set-piece delivery.
Berchiche is tripped by Casemiro, but bizarrely play is allowed to continue, much to the frustration of the Bilbao players. Their anger threatens to boil over as the referee then stops play for a foul on Modric.
Madrid win a corner, which Kroos takes. His in-swinger to the far post is catching practice for Herrerin.
A rare foray forward from Bilbao ends in frustration, as Williams is found in an offside position. Meanwhile, Isco and Bale are warming up for Madrid and a change appears to be imminent.
Lovely footwork by Benzema to skip past his opponent and move the ball wide to Vasquez. His cross is intercepted by San Jose. The Frenchman has been a joy to watch this afternoon.
SO CLOSE! A lovely free-flowing move from Madrid almost doubles their advantage. Kroos' arching cross to the far post is controlled by Vasquez, who tees it back to Benzema and his driven shot trickles just wide of Herrerin's goal.
BLOCK! In a move practised on the training ground, Modric crosses to the back post where Vasquez's first-time goal-bound volley is charged down by San Jose.
- Yellow cardIñigo MartínezAthletic Club
Martinez is booked for a late challenge on Modric, on the right side of the penalty area. He's the fourth Bilbao player to be shown a yellow card this afternoon.
From a neutral's point of view, this is exactly what the game needed. Bilbao are still challenging for the last European place and need to come out of their shells now to find an equaliser.
JUST WIDE! Madrid look like a new team since the restart. Modric skips past a challenge on the left side of the penalty area, he cuts it back to Kroos whose low shot is agonisingly wide of Herreria's post.
- GoalKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Athletic Bilbao
It's a textbook counter-attack goal from Madrid! It's started by Carvajal, the hosts work it wide to Asensio whose inch-perfect cross picks out Benzema and his bullet header is too powerful for Herrerin to keep out.
There were no changes at the break and it appears Benzema, who limped off at the interval, is fit to continue for now.
- 2nd Half
Empty seats aplenty at the Bernabeu and those in attendance this afternoon haven't had much to get excited about. The second half gets underway. Madrid must improve.
- End of 1st Half
The referee signals the end of a frustrating first half for Real Madrid. They have dominated possession but have yet to test the visitors' goalkeeper. More intensity is required to breakdown the Bilbao defence after the restart.
The corner comes to nothing and there will be one minute of added time to be played at the end of the first half.
- Yellow cardRaúl GarcíaAthletic Club
Berchiche makes an old-school sliding challenge on Vasquez inside the penalty area. The last touch appears to come off the Real Madrid forward but the referee awards the hosts a corner. Garcia goes into the book for dissent.
SAVE! Garcia wriggles free from his marker and attacks the corner delivery but he fails to get enough power in his header to trouble Navas.
Some jeers from the home crowd as Marcelo concedes Bilbao's first corner of the match. This is a good spell in the game for the visitors.
Five minutes until the interval and Madrid have flattered to deceive. Zidane isn't showing much emotion on the sideline.
A rare attack from Bilbao. Lekue drives down the flank and stands up a cross to the far post, but it's too firm for both of the visitors' strikers at the far post and rolls out harmlessly for a throw-in.
Marcelo is in some pain and appears to have picked up a thigh problem. He's trying to run it off.
Vasquez commits a strong, but ultimately fair, challenge on Berchiche, who stays down and looks in some pain. Madrid play on, the ball is worked to Asensio on the flank and again his cross fails to pick out a team mate in the centre.
Modric has shown glimpses of his class so far, but no one else in white has really stood out. Marcelo has been OK, actually.
Real Madrid haven't been at their best in the first half, but then again they haven't been at their best all season.
Plenty of niggling fouls being committed all over the pitch, which is making it difficult for either side to play their fluent football.
Vasquez bends a dangerous cross towards Benzema at the far post, but the Frenchman mistimes his run and is flagged offside.
Two quick-fire Kroos corners are cleared successfully by Bilbao as the hosts begin to turn the screw.
Navas, replacing the injured Courtois in the Madrid goal, comes racing off his line to take Williams' cross off the feet of Córdoba.
HALF-CHANCE! The ball is fizzed in from the left, it falls to Marcelo but he can't get a clean strike away and he rather scuffs it straight at the goalkeeper Herrerin.
Modric picks the ball up on the edge of the penalty area and spreads it wide to Carvajal on the right. His cross is blocked and Madrid have a corner.
It's halfway through the first half and we're still goalless at the Bernabeu. Madrid, as you would expect, have dominated possession but they're yet to test the goalkeeper.
The camera focuses on Bale, who of course is on the bench this afternoon. I wonder what the future holds for the Welshman. Could he be persuaded to move back to England in the summer?
Lovely footwork by Vasquez as he leaves a defender in his wake. However, he runs the ball too far and ends up on the floor. Play on says the referee, as Carvajal feeds Modric whose chipped pass into the box is easily intercepted.
Bilbao are clearly keen to get into the faces of Madrid and stop them from getting into any kind of rhythm. They have already conceded six fouls.
- Yellow cardYuri BerchicheAthletic Club
Bilbao immediately spring an attack on the counter. This is an open game so far. Williams is picked out on the right side of the penalty area but he's crowded out by at least three Madrid defenders.
The ball shifts to the right where Berchiche catches Vasquez with his flailing arm and picks up a yellow card.
SHOT! Delightful build-up play from Madrid. This is their best move of the match so far. Marcelo feeds Asensio on the overlap, he cuts it back to Vasquez who lays off Marcelo on the edge of the box, but his first-time shot is always rising over the bar.
Marcelo feeds Modric, who in turn switches the ball to the right where Vasquez is in space. This is good play from Madrid. Vasquez whips it to the far post, searching for Benzema, but Bilbao clear to safety.
Madrid are getting into their groove. They're targeting the left flank where Marcelo has enjoyed a lively start. He swings in a cross but there's absolutely no one in white to contest it and Bilbao survive.
Marcelo's lovely through-pass releases Asensio on the flank but his first-time cross is too close to the goalkeeper Herrerin who catches it comfortably.
Bilbao have made a bright start and showing plenty of attacking intent. The ball is spread wide to Berchiche on the overlap and his dangerous cross is headed clear by Vallejo.
Real Madrid are on course for their poorest league return since the 2005/06 campaign - they need 15 points from their last six games to better their 76 points of that season.
- Yellow cardInigo CordobaAthletic Club
An early card is issued to Cordoba for a late sliding challenge on Carvajal.
- 1st Half
KICK-OFF! Real Madrid get us underway at the Bernabeu.
FIVE MINUTE WARNING
A reminder of the line-ups as we approach kick-off...
Real Madrid XI: Navas, Marcelo, Varane, Vallejo, Carvajal, Modric, Kroos, Casemiro, Asensio, Lucas Vázquez, Benzema.
Athletic Bilbao XI: Iago Herrerín, I.Lekue, Yeray, I.Martínez, Yuri B., San José, Beñat, Muniain, Raúl García, Córdoba, Williams.
Getafe have just earned a huge three points in their bid for Champions League football next season, beating Sevilla 3-0 to leapfrog their opponents and move into fourth-place.
It's a 3:15pm kick-off here at the Bernabeu today, meaning there is just 15 minutes until the excitement begins. Real Madrid will close the gap on second-placed Atletico Madrid to four points with the victory, while Athletic Bilbao would go level on points with sixth-placed Valencia with a win.
Dani Carvajal, however, does not feel that Madrid needs radical change.
"I do not think there needs to be a revolution," he said. "In recent years the team has not changd much and we have been in European champions for 1,000 days."
It is set to be an extremely busy summer of spending at Madrid, with Zidane keen to overhaul his squad. Could Christian Eriksen be on his way to the Bernabeu? It's the Paper Round...
With just six games left to play, to say this has been an underwhelming campaign for Real Madrid would be an understatement. Los Blancos' quest to claim four successive European Cups were ended by Ajax, while they were dumped out of Copa del Rey by fierce rivals Barcelona, who they trail by 13 points in the table. Even Zidane's return to the Bernabeu hasn't been able to lift spirits, though Madrid are unbeaten at home under the Frenchman this season.
With Sergio Ramos still working his way back to full fitness, Jesus Vallejo is handed his first start in a year. Birthday boy Isco is on the bench, alongside Gareth Bale. Karim Benzema, with 26 goals to his name this season, spearheads the attack. In midfield, Luka Modric and Asensio feature.
Real Madrid XI: Navas, Marcelo, Varane, Vallejo, Carvajal, Modric, Kroos, Casemiro, Asensio, Lucas Vázquez, Benzema. Subs: Zidane, Nacho, Bale, Valverde, Brahim Díaz, Isco, Reguilón.
Athletic Bilbao XI: Iago Herrerín, I.Lekue, Yeray, I.Martínez, Yuri B., San José, Beñat, Muniain, Raúl García, Córdoba, Williams. Subs: Unai Simón, Kodro, Núñez, Susaeta, Aduriz, Unai López, Balenziaga.
Hello and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE text commentary of the Liga clash between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao,
Zinedine Zidane is likely to name another experimental team as he looks ahead to next season following a disappointing trophyless campaign, while today's visitors are hoping to secure a good result in their continued quest to snatch the last European place.
Team news to follow, kick-off is 45 minutes away.