By Chris King • 23 December 2021 • 5:51
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A depleted Real Madrid side travelled to the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao on Wednesday, December 22, to take on Athletic Club. It came as no surprise that leading goalscorer, Karim Benzema was the match-winner once again.
The Frenchman is in a fine run of form, grabbing a brace in the first seven minutes of the match, in a 2-1 win. With this hard-fought away victory, Los Blancos extended their lead at the top of LaLiga, while Benzema moves onto 20 goals for the season.
Missing eight of their first-team squad – all out as a result of Covid – this was a massive win for the Madrid club, sending an ominous message to all those who lie below them in the table. An eight-point lead at this point of the season is impressive, although second-placed Sevilla do have a game in hand.
Benzema broke the 400-goal mark in his professional career, smashing in the first goal after only four minutes, from outside the penalty area. Just three minutes later he capitalised on some poor defending to double the lead.
Oihan Sancet pulled one back for the home side on ten minutes. It was an action-packed first ten minutes, but the scores remained at 2-1 for the rest of the game. A fine save by Thibaut Courtois denied Bilabo’s Nico Williams an equaliser in the second half.
The other Williams brother had an opportunity to level the scores, but an excellent intervention by Eder Militao diverted the danger as the forward looked to be surging through on goal.
Bilbao have goalkeeper Julen Agirrezabala to thank for limiting Madrid to two goals towards the end of the game, twice denying first Eden Hazard, and then German international Toni Kroos.
In all competitions this season, Carlo Ancelotti’s team has lost only twice in 25 matches. Their last defeat was on October 3 at the hands of Espanyol.
The big news of the evening has to be reigning LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid’s 2-1 defeat by Granada. Diego Simeone is facing increased pressure from the fans, and the Spanish media, as his team lost for the fourth game in a row.
For more news on Spanish football: https://www.euroweeklynews.com/news/spain-football/
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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