Casemiro guides leaders Real Madrid C.F. through Athletic Bilbao test

Real Madrid C.F. beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1, thanks to Casemiro and Karim Benzema goals, to go five points up in La Liga

football Updated: Mar 18, 2017 23:13 IST
Real Madrid C.F.,Athletic Bilbao,Casemiro
Real Madrid C.F.'s Karim Benzema celebrates with Marcelo Vieira (right) after scoring against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Saturday(AP)

Real Madrid C.F. went five points clear a the top of La Liga after coming through a testing game at Athletic Bilbao to win 2-1 thanks to Brazilian midfield lynchpin Casemiro’s strike on Saturday.

Karim Benzema fired Real ahead in the 25th minute with an exquisite first-time finish from a Cristiano Ronaldo cross after Casemiro had begun the move with a clever long ball from the halfway line.

Read more | West Bromwich Albion F.C. inflict more misery on Arsenal Football Club

Athletic worked hard to get back into the game and, after Real keeper Keylor Navas produced a brilliant save to deny Inaki Williams, veteran striker Aritz Aduriz headed the home side level from close range in the 65th minute.

Casemiro restored Real’s lead in the 68th, however, by controlling a Ronaldo’s flicked header from a corner and calmly taking his time to tuck the ball into the net from close range thanks to some careless defending.

Read more | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Mali friendlies for Indian team deferred, says AIFF

Real lead on 65 points from second-placed Barcelona, who have also played 27 games and host Valencia on Sunday.

First Published: Mar 18, 2017 23:09 IST