Goal Gazette

Watch: Nacho Scores Crucial Goal To Give Real Madrid Lead Against Athletic Club

The Brazilian, backtracking under pressure, does brilliantly to flex his neck muscles and guide the ball back across goal and it looks like it’s dropping in over Simon. Clang! Benzema doing some Bilbao bothering right now with a couple of dangerous moments appearing to open up. Defence holds firm though and we still have no breakthrough.

Benzema can’t escape down the left so turns back and rolls the ball to his Croatian midfielder who steps forward and smacks a low effort goalwards.

It looks as though it may be sneaking inside the left upright so it was an important finger-tip save from Simon to turn it past. Corner. Modric on the ball again, this time in the middle of Bilbao territory, and finds Odriozola through a tiny gap between players to set up the right-wing cross.

That counter opens up a chance for the Bilbao midfielder on the left. As he enters the penalty area he has a choice, shoot from a tight angle or try and pick out a teammate with a cutback. Morcillo chooses to strike and, although getting plenty behind it, it’s straight at Courtois who stands strong.

The home gaffer will be relatively happy to have kept the reigning champions at bay, but will be stressing the importance of them holding onto the ball better and getting at their opponents, a team that is far from unbeatable.

The French coach on the other hand will want his forwards to be much more composed when in a position to create. It’s a discussion he’ll have had several times this season. Rodrygo almost does create that danger moment, showing the defender the fake eyes before jinking past him close to the goalline.

Unfortunately for the youngster there was enough of a bump on him to force him to kick the ball out of play. There is still plenty time in San Mamés for goals to happen but I feel it’s going to take a moment of luck or genius given the chances.

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