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Spain - Primera Division
Celta de Vigo
January 22, 2012
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz
• Attendance: 75000
Full time in Madrid. Two penalty's from Ronaldo and a goal each from Marcelo and Callejon ensure a 4-1 victory for Jose Mourinho's men against a plucky Athletic side. Thank you for joining us on Goal.com!
A quiet period in the match as Real Madrid run down the clock. Athletic look very fatigued and have done for the last 15 minutes or so.
Athletic well beaten now. They have by no means performed badly, but have looked vulnerable when Real Madrid have attacked with pace down the flanks.
Assist Gonzalo Higuaín
Goal José Callejón
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAL FOR REAL MADRID!!!! A fantastic counterattack from the hosts! Ozil picks out Higuain just inside the Athletic half and the Argentine slides a pass through to Callejon. The substitute drives forward and slots the ball into the bottom left corner. Excellent goal.
Fair play to Athletic, they are still sticking to their short passing game in the final third. They have performed admirably but luck was not on their side this evening and Madrid's class eventually has shone through.
Xabi Alonso is dictating the game at the moment. No rush for Madrid as they hold a comfortable two goal lead over Athletic. The third goal and sending off was the turning point of the match.
Real Madrid are being patient in their passing now, perhaps looking to run down the clock. They are playing the game at their pace and Athletic are beginning to look tired being a man down.
Higuain hits the post!!! The Argentine took the ball around Iraizoz and from a very acute angle, attempts to squeeze a shot into the corner but it smashes off the post and Athletic clear!
Yellow Card Arbeloa
The game is fairly heated at the moment. Since his introduction, Lassana Diarra has flew into a challenge and had a petulant kick out at Toquero. Neither of which he was punished for.
Another change for Real Madrid as Esteban Granero is replaced by Lassana Diarra. Madrid looking to add some solidity in midfield for the last twenty minutes.
The scoreline is slightly harsh on Athletic, who have battled well without the match. Two lapses in concentration have hurt them. Still twenty minutes to go, but with a man down, you fancy Jose Mourinho's men to hold on.
A couple of substitutions after the goal from both sides. Gonzalo Higuain replaces Benzema and Inigo Perez replaces Susaeta.
Assist Mesut Özil
Penalty Goal C. Ronaldo
GOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR REAL MADRID!!! Ronaldo steps up again and coolly slots the ball into the bottom left corner. 3-1 and a long way back for Athletic.
Red Card Óscar De Marcos
Penalty for Real Madrid!!! And the home fans are furious! The reason being Benzema was fouled in the box as he struck a shot! The shot went in but the referee signals for the penalty. De Marcos was the last man and has been sent off for the tackle!
Good play from De Marcos, who has now switched to left-back. The Athletic man cut inside on his right foot and flashes a shot across goal that had Iker Casillas scrambling as the ball goes just by the post.
A double change from Athletic as Llorente and Amorobieta are replaced by Ibai and Toquero.
Athletic continue to look dangerous in the final third. De Marcos took on Arbeloa and chipped a cross to the back post but Varane was there to make a vital glancing header away. Llorente was lurking.
Yellow Card Sergio Ramos
Brilliant counterattack from Real Madrid. Marcelo robbed Muniain of the ball and gave the ball to Kaka, who drove forward with pace before sliding a pass behind the defence for Ronaldo but Iraizoz was fully concentrated and ran out from his line to claim the ball.
San Jose bursts out of the centre back positions and drifts by a couple of challenges before sliding a lovely pass through the centre meant for Llorente but the big striker was on his heels and the ball goes harmlessly through to Casillas.
Fantastic play from Marcelo down the left wing. The Brazilian evaded three challenges and stretched his legs to get into the final third before whipping a cross into the centre for Ronaldo but the Portuguese was off balance and his header goes wayward.
Patient play from Athletic at the moment. They are showing no signs of panicking at going a goal down. Marcelo Bielsa's men will religiously continue their impressive passing play.
A perfect start to the second period for Real Madrid. That will certainly ease the pressure on the players from the support. Athletic by no means out of this match, though.
Yellow Card Iturraspe
Penalty Goal C. Ronaldo
GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL TO REAL MADRID!!! Emphatic from Cristiano Ronaldo! The Portuguese powers the ball into the top left corner from the penalty spot! Disastrous start to the second half for Athletic!
Penalty to Real Madrid!!!! Kaka gets in behind Iturraspe and the young Athletic players pulls the Brazilian to the ground by his shirt!
Real Madrid kick off the second half. Receiving lots of Tweets and the general consensus is that Athletic will eventually succumb to the class of Real Madrid. @sani8326 writes: "Madrid will take all the points here, but 'the special one' must switch his tactics."
Half time in Madrid. Athletic have certainly showed that they are not pushovers when they come to Santiago Bernabeu. A very solid first half display from the visitors, but Real Madrid always look dangerous with the attacking quality they have. An even match so far. Join us in 15 minutes for the second half!
A high tempo end to the first half. Athletic have had the better of the play in the last 10 minutes or so, but apart from the goal, Casillas has not had a lot to do in the Madrid goal.
@Jo5eph5 writes on Twitter: "I see this game ending draw but I don't know if Bilbao will be able to push through this one." It certainly looks as if there is more goals in this match. Athletic have performed very well so far so perhaps they have it in their locker to win the match. What do we think?
Bright play again from Marcelo, who has had a very good first half. The Brazilian turned sharply and lifted a cross to the back post for Ronaldo but it was slightly over-hit and the ball goes out for an Athletic goal kick.
A fantastic opportunity for Llorente!!! The Athletic forward found himself with just Casillas to beat but sliced his left-footed shot well wide! A terrible miss!
Nice play from Real Madrid. Marcelo collects the ball just outside the box and drives out to the left before laying off a pass to Benzema with a back heel. The Frenchman hits a low drive on goal but Iraizoz saves comfortably.
Good period of possession from Athletic leads to another shot on goal. De Marcos comes inside before clipping a lovely pass out to Susaeta who smashes a cross into the centre. Muniain can't manage to control the ball and it falls again to De Marcos who flashes a shot just by the left-hand post.
A great chance for Madrid! Sergio Ramos rises high in the box and headers on goal from a corner kick and the ball comes to Benzema who instinctively glances a header on goal but it is straight into the arms of Iraizoz. Anywhere else from the Frenchman and it would have been 2-1 Real Madrid.
Yellow Card C. Ronaldo
A very entertaining first half hour or so. It is very much a midfield battle at the moment with Athletic handling themselves well. The match certainly doesn't seem as if it will be another 5-1 drubbing to Madrid.
Crunching tackle from San Jose on Mesut Ozil down the right wing. The young Athletic defender times it perfectly but the German is not happy. A good old fashioned challenge there. No nonsense.
Yellow Card Óscar De Marcos
Assist Karim Benzema
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAL FOR REAL MADRID!!!! A very nicely worked move! Marcelo exchanges two one-two's with Ronaldo and Benzema before driving into the box and coolly finishing into the left corner! All square at 1-1!
Decent attempt on goal from Esteban Granero, who has had a few shots already in the match. The Madrid midfielder struck the ball sweetly on the half-volley from 25 yards but it was straight down the throat of Iraizoz.
Real Madrid look very vulnerable defensively here. They are playing a very high line and Athletic are being awarded far too much space on the wings. It looks a matter of time before the visitors are given another opening on goal.
Athletic should be two up! Another counterattacking move from the away side as Muniain drives forward and lashes a shot on goal which is saved by Casillas! De Marcos steps and and does not make good contact on the rebound! It was an open goal! Madrid let off the hook.
Good play from Kaka. The Brazilian picked up a pass from Xabi Alonso and quickly turned before driving forward and unleashing a powerful shot on goal. Unfortunately for Madrid he was slightly off balance and the shot went wide.
A fantastic opening fifteen minutes from Athletic. They look extremely dangerous on the counter attack and Real Madrid were just left sleeping there, which allowed the visitors to flood forward in numbers to grab the opening goal.
Assist Javi Martínez
Goal Fernando Llorente
GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAL FOR ATHLETIC BILBAO!!!!! An excellent counterattack! Ander clips a lovely pass out to the right-hand side for Javi Martinez who then whips a fantastic cross to the back post for Llorente and the Athletic hit-man volleys home with a left-footed strike! Brilliant goal!
Ronaldo steps up and smashes the wall through the Athletic ball but the attempt goes wide of the left-hand post. Iraizoz has not saw any action so far in goal.
Free kick to Real Madrid. Iturraspe brings down Ronaldo after the Portuguese drove forward and looked to be pulling the trigger. A good opportunity on goal for the hosts.
Real Madrid camped in their own half at the moment. De Marcos got to the byline for Athletic and clipped a nice cross to the back post for Llorente but Varane leapt highest to head the ball out for a corner kick.
Athletic just creeping back into the game more now. Llorente has had a couple of nice touches facing his own goal, and with Susaeta and Muniain on the flanks, the visitors are not shy about committing men forward.
Real Madrid start the match on the ascendancy. They are controlling possession at the moment. No chances yet, though.
The first half is underway at Santiago Bernabeu. This is a typically high scoring match, so we should be in for some entertaining football this evening between Madrid and Athletic.
Athletic Bilbao's last couple of visits to Santiago Bernabeu have resulted in two 5-1 defeats at the hands of Real Madrid so Marcelo Bielsa's side go into the match as massive underdogs, but with players like Iker Muniain and Fernando Llorente in the side, they can hurt the hosts in this match.
This is the starting XI of Athletic Bilbao: Iraizoz; Iraola, Javi Martinez, San Jose, Amorebieta; Iturraspe, Herrera, De Marcos; Susaeta, Llorente, Muniain
The teams are in and this is how Real Madrid are lining up tonight: Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Granero, Xabi; Ozil, Kaka, Ronaldo; Benzema
I'm Martin Macdonald and I will be reporting on the match this evening. You can follow me on Twitter at @MartinMac1 so feel free to post your thoughts, feelings, and predictions on the match!
Hello, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division encounter between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao at Santiago Bernabeu.
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