Higuain 19 Ronaldo 30, 57, 90 Ramos 57
ATHLETIC BILBAO 1
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick as Madrid made sure they go into next week’s El Clasico at the top of La Liga with a 5-1 demolition of Athletic Bilbao.
Goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Ronaldo had put Real into a two goal lead before Madrid transfer target Fernando Llorente pulled one back before half time. Bilbao will felt hard done by having created a number of decent chances throughout the game but were ultimately outclassed by Madrid, Sergio Ramos scored his first goal of the season from the spot before Ronaldo completed his hat trick with a well struck free kick and a late penalty to return to the of the Pachichi list.
It was the visitors who created the first goal scoring opportunity, Spanish international Fernando Llorente managed to turn two Madrid defenders inside out and roll the ball past Iker Casillas but was denied by Pepe who cleared the ball off the line, an early scare for Mourinho’s men.
Bilbao were made to pay for their missed opportunity shortly after when Angel Di Maria put Gonzalo Higuain through on goal and the Argentine was strong to hold off two Bilbao defenders and slipped the ball past Iraizoz to open the scoring.
The home side had the chance to double their lead shortly after as Sergio Ramos escaped his marker from a free kick but he failed to direct his header into the corner. Bilbao almost equalised, Markel Susaeta found himself unmarked inside the box but was denied by Casillas.
Llorente continued to cause problems for the Madrid defence and forced another save from the Madrid goalkeeper. Against the run of play Madrid up the other end Ronaldo is put through and strikes it with his left foot into the bottom corner.
Bilbao got the goal that their first half performance deserved after a scramble in the penalty box Llorente was on hand to poke it past Casillas to score his 9th goal of the season.
The second half was kicked into life when the home team were awarded what seemed a very harsh penalty as Di Maria went down went down very easily in the box. It was right back Sergio Ramos who stepped up to the disbelief of manager Jose Mourinho and tucked the ball past the keeper.
Madrid made sure of the points shortly after, Ronaldo it was who won the free kick 30 yards from goal and the Portuguese playmaker stepped up to unleash one of his thunderbolts which was too much for the Bilbao goalkeeper.
Having wrapped up the three points Mourinho’s men took their foot off the gas and turned their attention to the midweek Champions league game against Ajax. Madrid have already qualified for the next stage of the European competition but Mourinho will want to keep his unbeaten run going and will want his players flowing with confidence going into next week’s El Classico game against Barcelona a week on Monday.
Bilbao had the chance to reduce the margin five minutes from the end, but Javi Martinez’s shot rebounded off the crossbar. Madrid made it five in the dying minutes after Esteban Granero had won the penalty Ronaldo stepped up to score his third and Real’s fifth and send back to the top of La Liga.
4 S. Ramos – 3 Pepe – 2 Carvalho – 12 Marcelo
24 Khedira – 14 Xabi Alonso – 22 Di Maria
23 Ozil – 20 Higuain – 7 Ronaldo
68 – 10 L Diarra on for 24 Khedira
76 – 9 Benzema on for 20 Higuain
78 – 11 Granero on for 23 Ozil