Real Madrid ties Bilbao in a litmus test on their way to the title

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Soccer Football – La Liga Santander – Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid – San Mames, Bilbao, Spain – July 5, 2020 Athletic Bilbao’s Inaki Williams in action against Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease ( COVID-19) REUTERS / Vincent West (VINCENT WEST /)

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Real Madrid began the match with intense pressure on the local team during the first minutes to such an extent that they had the first clear goal situation before five on the feet of the Spanish Marco Asensio, who with a powerful free kick put alerting goalkeeper Unai Simón.

At 15 came the response from Bilbao, who managed to get on the right wing defended by Dani Carvajal with long balls and counter plays. It was in that sector where the team’s top scorer Raúl García appeared to connect with the head with a shot that found Tibauth Courtois well stopped.

Gaizka Garitano’s team began to adjust their lines and gradually advanced their game focusing their attack on García and Iñaki Williams to penetrate the defensive sector of the merengue box. The last of the first half, however, was for the Whites with a Marco Asensio cross and a header inside Karim Benzema’s small area that passed very close to the crossbar.

Bilbao and Real Madrid went to rest with a zero draw on the scoreboard - REUTERS / Vincent West
Bilbao and Real Madrid went to rest with a zero draw on the scoreboard – REUTERS / Vincent West (VINCENT WEST /)

Developing…

The league title that Real Madrid is on track and the European ticket that Athletic Club is obsessively pursuing go through one of the classics of each season at the San Mamés stadium, a duel between whites and rojiblancos in La Catedral that has never been lacking in the history of LaLiga.

The two teams arrive euphoric to the appointment after having taken giant steps in the last days to achieve their respective and ambitious goals. In that race, both are the two best teams of the last eight days. Real Madrid with 21 points out of 24 possible and Athletic with 17.

Those of Zinedine Zidane arrive at San Mamés, with a firmness that has prompted them to sign the full triumph with the return of the competition after the break due to the pandemic. Four more goals scored leave the League dyed white and, to get a victory against Bilbao, on a day in which Quique Setien’s men visit another team in a great streak like Villarreal, they will already feel like champions.

The French coach will not be able to count on Eden Hazard again. Again his operated ankle knocks him out. He was already booked against Getafe and the visit of San Mamés will be lost due to a strong blow. Nor will the footballer who had played it all, Raphael Varane, be on defense.

Vinicius and a Benzema are the Frenchman’s fixes to attack, while the latter is reunited with the team that scored the most goals in his career. Up to eleven goals has marked Athletic, along with Granada, its favorite victims, and it is in a sweet moment in which its name is even heard among future Ballon d’Or candidates.

Those of Gaizka Garitano chain two consecutive victories, the second in Mestalla extremely important because it has fully returned them to the fight for Europe that they left aside during their way to the final of the Copa del Rey and in which they already have many options after move to one place and two points from seventh place.

The Athletic coach seems like he will be able to put his eleven starter on the pitch. A block that has rounded up after the break with the ownership of Unai López and Iñigo Córdoba, already clear owners of the only two positions in dispute throughout the season.

TRAININGS:

TV: ESPN 2

STADIUM: San Mamés

POSITIONS:

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