Real’s win with Benzema-Cruz’s excellent goal

Neither team could create many clear chances. In between, Karim Benzema gave a wonderful goal. Toni Kroos also scored an eye-catching goal as a substitute at the end. Real Madrid narrowed the gap with Barcelona in the league table by beating Athletic Bilbao at home.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side won the La Liga match 2-0 at San Mames on Sunday night.

Since the World Cup break, Real has come under heavy criticism for its discontinuous performance. Prior to this match against Bilbao, they had only won one of their last four matches, excluding a penalty shootout. Finally, the most successful team in Europe gave a glimpse of returning to the familiar rhythm.

The title holders tasted victory in the league after one match. Lost 2-1 against Villarreal in the last round.

Real remain unbeaten in 15 La Liga matches against Bilbao, including 11 wins in the last six.

Benzema had a half-chance in the seventh minute in a match that was dominated by attack-counter-attacks from the start. But his shot was not on target. Three minutes later Thibaut Courtois thwarted Bilbao’s Aiter Paredes’ header.

Bilbao got another chance in the 22nd minute. Inaki Williams’ effort from an awkward angle hits the side netting.

Two minutes later, Real went ahead with Benzema’s great goal. The 35-year-old striker volleyed home Marco Asensio’s header from Dani Ceballos’ cross into the D-box with a powerful left-footed volley.

Benzema joins Raúl at number five on the La Liga top goalscorers list, overtaking Alfredo Di Stefano (227), with both scoring 228 goals. Only Cristiano Ronaldo has more goals for Real Madrid in Spain’s top league than the duo, with 311.

Benzema’s goals in La Liga against Bilbao were 17 in 26 games, his highest against any team.

In the rest of the first half, no one could create a clear cut chance. Benzema threw his jersey into the gallery before entering the tunnel during the break.

Nacho Fernandez got a chance in the 59th minute. His first effort from close range was blocked by the defence, the return shot was blocked by goalkeeper Unai Simon. After a while, Asensio had a golden opportunity to increase the gap and could not put the shot on target.

Nico Williams missed the chance to equalize in the 69th minute. The 20-year-old winger hit the ball wide from 10 yards.

In the 73rd minute, the Real coach replaced Asensio with Luka Modric as the first substitute.

In the 78th minute, Niko’s brother Inaki Williams sent the ball into Real’s net, but the goal was missed due to offside.

Kroos found the back of the net five minutes after replacing Ceballos in the 85th minute. The experienced German midfielder ran into Rodrigo’s pass and scored a powerful low shot from outside the box. Real’s 3 points are confirmed.

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