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3 May 2012
• Estadio San Mamés, Bilbao
Referee: José Antonio Teixeira Vitienes
• Attendance: 39500
G. Higuaín 16'
M. Özil 20'
Cristiano Ronaldo 50'
Thank you for joining us at Goal.com for our LIVE text commentary on tonight's match. Make sure to stick with us for all the post-match news and analysis, including match report and player ratings. My name is Tom Webber and it has been a pleasure to guide you through the action. Have a great evening.
Jose Mourinho becomes the first manager to win domestic titles in four different countries: Portugal, England, Italy and now Spain. What an achievement!
It is all over at the San Mames and Real Madrid have secured their 32nd Liga title with a 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao! Barcelona have been dethroned.
90' + 3'
THE FINAL WHISTLE GOES!! REAL MADRID ARE CHAMPIONS!!!
90' + 2'
RONALDO MISSES A ONE-ON-ONE!! Marcelo slides the ball between the defenders for the Portuguese and he breaks through on goal. He takes it just inside the area but puts far too much pressure on himself as he seems unsure where to put it and Iraizoz saves the ball low to his right.
90' + 1'
Real Madrid are three added minutes away from the title.
Wonderful play from Madrid as they break forwards with Benzema. He plays a tight give-and-go with Arbeloa but the striker sees his cross deflected behind for a corner.
What a chance! Ronaldo pokes a pass through to Benzema and the Frenchman has some space in the box. His touch lets him down though and the ball ends up going straight to a defender.
SO CLOSE!! He takes a huge run-up and smashes the ball low. It flies straight through the wall but just bends wide of the goal and crashes into the hoardings behind.
Yellow Card Íñigo Pérez
Another free kick for Madrid roughly 25 yards from goal. Perez brings down Callejon and no doubt Ronaldo will try to drill this one past Iraizoz.
Benzema wins his side a corner and it is taken by Granero. It is sent in far too deep and it is too high for the Frenchman to bring down and bounces out of play.
Mourinho only has one substitution left now but it is only a matter of minutes until Madrid secure the Liga title. It has been a solid display but you sense they are still going to try and steal another goal.
Sergio Ramos makes a lovely run forwards from defence. He comes up against Ekiza and tries to throw in some stepovers. They do not work for him and he ends up stumbling and giving away possession.
Madrid have decided to just keep the ball at the back at the moment. No doubt they are trying to suck the hosts in before playing a few quick passes and breaking them on the counter.
Yellow Card Mesut Özil
Ronaldo is still going to try and find his next goal. Bilbao are caught thin at the back but the Portuguese is dispossessed as he tries to break past the last defender. He wants to get another goal. He needs it to stay in touch with Messi on 46 Liga goals.
Ronaldo stands over the free kick and absolutely smashes it from 35 yards out in a central position. It hits the wall and play is stopped for an injury to Susaeta. It looks to have caught him in the head.
Yellow/Red Javi Martínez
JAVI MARTINEZ IS SENT OFF!! Bilbao are stretched and when Sergio Ramos tries to spray the play out to the left it strikes the midfielders hand. It is his second handball of the night and it means he has to walk.
Ozil slides the ball into the path of Ronaldo on the right of the box. He tries to work some space to get a shot away but Ekiza stays on his feet and pokes the ball off his toe with a well-timed challenge.
Yellow Card Xabi Alonso
Alonso puts in a needless niggling challenge on Susaeta and gives away another free kick 30 yards from goal. The ball is flighted in but it goes all the way through to Casillas who makes the catch.
BILBAO HIT THE WOODWORK AGAIN!! This time it is De Marcos with a fizzing shot from just over 20 yards. It looks like it is going to nestle in the top corner but it lacks the dip and bounces out of play off the top of the crossbar.
Sergio Ramos looks to break and he lays the ball off to Higuain. The Argentine is closed down by Ekiza who makes a great challenge to send it out for a throw. Top defending there.
Yellow Card Arbeloa
Ibai steps up to take it from around 25 yards but he fails to hit the target. They have failed to make the most of their set pieces tonight.
Arbeloa gives the ball away just outside the box and De Marcos surges forwards for the box. The right-back does not want to risk conceding so he clips the Bilbao man's heels and gets a booking for the tackle.
A rare spell in possession for the hosts here as they try to slow the play down. Eventually a long ball goes up to Toquero and he manages to then send it into the area. It falls to Ibai and his touch is decent but it runs away from him and goes out for a goal kick.
Terrific play by Madrid! An exquisite reverse pass by Alonso finds Callejon on his own in the area. His first touch takes it away from goal but he manages to get a shot away, however he can only get it at the near post and the keeper saves.
A free kick in a dangerous area here for the hosts. Alonso sends it in but there is no one their to win it and Bilbao clear it away.
Iraola makes his first real involvement with a long ball up the right flank. Susaeta chases it but Sergio Ramos does well to shepherd it out of play despite the Bilbao man's best efforts to steal it from him.
Pepe is looking very adventurous tonight. He charges forward with the ball again and after an interchange with Ronaldo, his compatriot shoots from 25 yards. It never looked like going in and Iraizoz is again given a standard save at his near post.
More intelligent play from the visitors enables Cristiano Ronaldo to run at the last two defenders. He tries to go between them and as he is shielded from getting the ball back he falls to the ground. He stays down for a bit, realises he won't get anything and gets back up.
How are Bilbao going to approach this game now? They still have Copa del Rey and Europa League finals to play so may well want to take it easy now. Madrid will not they. Los Blancos will want to make a big, big statement as they are crowned champions.
Assist Xabi Alonso
Goal Cristiano Ronaldo
GOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLL!!! RONALDOOOOOOOO!!! After a magical run from Higuain where he could well have scored, he ended up winning his side a corner. Alonso takes it and Ronaldo gets a free header and nods the ball in to the back of the net. One of his simplest goals and many of our readers will be happy tonight!
Ronaldo's greed has cost his side there. He sprints down the right and cuts inside and carries the ball across the box. Instead of passing to one of his team-mates he holds onto it and ends up getting dispossessed.
Iraola has replaced San Jose in the only change at the break. Marcelo Bielsa clearly trying to keep things safe as the defender was booked in the closing stages of the first half. Iraola also provides much more going forwards down the right than his team-mate.
Real Madrid are 45 minutes away from their 32nd Liga title. Can they kill the game off now?
The teams are back out on the pitch and the second half is a few seconds away.
Well we have had our first message from a Barcelona fan conceding defeat in the tile race from @RamyMehelba: "Congratulations to Madrid, from a Barca fan." Controversial.
Thanks @kizitoonyii, he thinks Madrid will win this 5-1 with Ronaldo getting two of the goals. That was a bit before half time though, could they still get such a huge margin? @simplexQ is also hoping for a bit more action in the second half, he said: "I am just hoping for more goals, Ronaldo must score, he deserves the Pichichi." The Portuguese is three behind Messi after the Barcelona man's hat-trick this evening. He has not looked himself since missing the penalty, can he step it up this half?
It is half time at the San Mames and Real Madrid have one hand on the Liga trophy as they hold a 2-0 lead over Athletic Bilbao. The hosts have possibly deserved a goal but if Madrid can secure the three points, they will be champions. Send your thoughts and comments to @thwebber during the break and I'll get the best up in around 10 minutes. Do not miss it!
45' + 1'
Yellow Card Toquero
45' + 1'
Good refereeing there. Toquero goes in very late on Arbeloa but the referee allows play to flow as Madrid have the advantage. Ronaldo fails to capitalise down the right flank and then Toquero is booked once the move comes to an end.
Just one minute of added time to be played here.
The interplay from Madrid here has been fantastic at times and once again it occurs in the midfield. San Jose can do nothing to get the ball down and has to bring Higuain down with a cynical foul to avoid yet another counterattack.
A superb touch by Ozil plays Higuain in with acres of space around him down the right. He looks up and tries to pick out a man but he fails to beat the first defender with a very disappointing cross.
Another set piece for the hosts is whipped in from the left and Martinez gets his head to it but fails to divert it on target. They are getting much closer.
IT HITS THE WOODWORK DOWN THE OTHER END!! Bilbao are getting caught on the break far too regularaly and it is Ozil who carries the ball from left to right across the top of the box. He thumps a decent effort on goal and it crashes off the bar. Iraizoz would not have saved that.
Yellow Card San José
OFF THE BAR!! Perez belts the free kick and it looks to be flying in at the near post but Casillas manages to get a hand to it and punch it away. It is volleyed straight back in by San Jose and hits the woodwork after a deflection off a white shirt.
Yellow Card Fabio Coentrao
BAD CHALLENGE!! Coentrao hacks down Susaeta just outside the box on the right-hand side. What can they make of this?
Too many of the Madrid players are looking to break and they end up leaving Alonso hugely isolated in midfield with two men closing him down. It is Toquero who runs across to try and win the ball but it goes out for a throw.
An absolutely fantastic break again for Madrid and unusually it is Pepe who leads the charge. He surges up to the left side of the box and cuts the ball back for Ronaldo to strike. His body shape seems to be just off and his effort goes straight into the keeper's arms.
Toquero is exposing the space in behind Coentrao relentlessly here. It is always a problem for Mourinho's side, whether they play the Portuguese or Marcelo. He puts in another cross and Llorente gets up to challenge Casillas but the keepers fists beat the strikers head to the ball.
Toquero wins another corner for his side with some good running down the left. Sergio Ramos deflects it behind and fortunately for the defender Bilbao fail to make anything of the set piece again.
Thanks to @kelvinmoses0 for getting in touch. He said: "Looks like more goals will come. Still waiting for Ronaldo to score." The Portuguese does need some goals tonight but he looks a bit upset following that penalty miss. I am sure he will get picked up by Mourinho at half time though.
Llorente turns and faces Pepe about 30 yards from goal. He drops the shoulder and tries to beat him but the Portuguese makes a great tackle. In his haste to regain possession he ends up pushing the Madrid player over and conceding a needless free kick.
Ronaldo has the ball about 20 yards from goal. He could slip in Ozil for a chance to score but instead he shoots, knowing he needs to score to retain the Pichichi trophy. It does not have it's usual venom and Iraizoz saves it easily.
The replays of that penalty claim in the 17th minute show that it really should have been given. Bilbao fans will be distraught when they see that. It could have made a big difference after the first goal.
WHAT AN EFFORT!! A superb strike from 35 yards by Perez has Casillas scrambling across his goal. The keeper clearly worried that it was destined for the top corner made the dive, but the ball flew well wide.
A long diagonal ball from deep for Bilbao finds Llorente on the edge of the box. He beats Pepe to the ball easily but his knock down is just too far away from Toquero and Casillas gathers it.
Assist Cristiano Ronaldo
Goal Mesut Özil
AND IT IS TWO!!! OZIL!! Another superb counterattack tears the hosts apart. Alonso sprays the ball out to Ronaldo on the right and the Portuguese lays it on a plate for Ozil to tap in at the back post. Deadly, perfect play from Mourinho's side.
Bilbao are unperturbed and come straight back at the hosts. A ball goes into the box and it looks to have touched the hands of Khedira. It runs out of play and the referee only awards the hosts a corner. They felt they should have had something more there.
Assist Mesut Özil
Goal Gonzalo Higuaín
WHAT A GOOOOOOAAAAAALLLL!!! HIGUAIN!! Well he has made the most of being handed a start by Mourinho. Khedira breaks forward and plays the ball to Ronaldo who pokes it across to Ozil. The German supplies another first-time past and Higuain lets it run across him before arrowing an effort into the top corner.
That was an awful penalty by Ronaldo. His side were given a golden chance to go ahead and put themselves well on the way to the title, but he wasted it. That will put his side under a lot of pressure now.
Yellow Card Sergio Ramos
Penalty save Iraizoz
Missed Penalty Cristiano Ronaldo
Yellow Card Javi Martínez
RONALDO MISSES IT!!! Well he has three goals to make up on Messi but he won't do it like that. An arrogant little dink down the middle is saved by the legs of Iraizoz. He remains on 43 league goals.
PENALTY TO REAL MADRID!! Martinez handles the ball in the area.
There is a corner here for the hosts after Coentrao blocked Toquero's cross down by the byeline. It is swung in but surpasses everyone in the box and Madrid look to launch a counterattack.
Incidentally, Toquero was due to be starting on the bench tonight but a late injury to Muniain meant that the forward was drafted in as a replacement.
A great ball in from Toquero, deep on the right, is met by the head of Susaeta. He was running across the goal and had to head it behind him from the near post. It almost snuck in the bottom corner but Casillas was there to make the save.
Bilbao are by no means being dominated here. Llorente turns on the ball and runs at goal and looks to slide a pass through to De Marcos on the overlap. It is intercepted by Pepe and Madrid move the ball forward.
A corner for Real Madrid is headed on goal by Pepe but it is blocked on the line by a Bilbao defender and after a short scramble it is cleared to safety.
Coentrao already signalling his intent as he breaks forward from left-back and gets the ball in the area. He manages to pull free of his marker with a good turn but he blazes his shot well over the bar.
Madrid are almost in straight away! Bilbao are caught extremely flat as Alonso slips a great pass down the channel towards Higuain. He races Iraizoz to ball but the keeper manages to beat the Argentine to it. Great start.
We are underway at the San Mames! Can Real Madrid secure their first Liga title in four years? Let's find out.
The teams are making their way out onto the pitch and kick off is just a few moments away. This is sure to be a fantastic night!
In case you had not heard, Lionel Messi netted a hat-trick tonight as Barcelona defeated Malaga. The result does not effect Madrid, but it does effect Ronaldo who is now three goals behind the Argentine in the Pichichi standings having found the net just 43 times compared to Messi's 46.
For the hosts, Martinez, Muniain, Susaeta and Llorente all start the game having been rested in the 2-0 defeat at Real Zaragoza on Sunday. Ander Herrera and Ander Iturraspe are unavailable due to suspension, a fate shared by Di Maria for Madrid tonight.
So despite bagging a brace in the 3-0 win over Sevilla on Sunday, Benzema is dropped to the bench in favour of Higuain. In the other changes, Coentrao replaces Marcelo while Granero makes way for Khedira. What do you make of Mourinho's selections tonight as he bids to become the first manager to lift a domestic title in four different major European countries? Would you go for the hard-working Benzema, or the clinical Higuain? Send your answers to @thwebber on Twitter.
Subs: Adan, Albiol, Marcelo, Varane, Granero, Kaka, Benzema.
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao; Khedira, Alonso; Callejon, Ozil, Ronaldo; Higuain.
Subs: Fernandez, Ramalho, Iraola, Gabilondo, De Galaretta, Lopez, Koikili.
Athletic Bilbao (4-3-3): Iraizoz; Ekiza, San Jose, Martinez, Aurtenetxe; De Marcos, Perez, Susaeta; Ibai, Llorente, Toquero.
Feel free to get involved in a huge night in Spain by sending your thoughts/comments/predictions via Twitter to @thwebber. There is some big team news on the way which is sure to get your tongues wagging!
As mentioned, Madrid will be crowned Liga champions tonight, if, and only if, they manage to defeat Marcelo Bielsa's Europa League finalists. Los Blancos are unbeaten in their last 20 league matches and have come out on top against Bilbao in 14 of their previous 15 meetings in all competitions, so history favours the side from the capital clearly.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE text commentary on tonight's potentially title-winning for Real Madrid, as they travel to the San Mames to face Athletic Bilbao. My name is Tom Webber and I am going to be guiding you through all the action tonight, as Los Blancos look to win their 32nd Liga title.
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