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Deportivo La Coruña
September 1, 2013
• Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
Referee: Carlos Clos Gomez
• Attendance: 72231
Isco 26', 72'
Cristiano Ronaldo 45'+
And things just keep getting better for Madrid fans if you believe the news that Gareth Bale is expected to be announced as a Los Blancos player this afternoon! Watch this space. For now though, thanks for joining me, Harry Slavin, I'm off to enjoy the rest of this weekend's football festivities. Goodbye!
FULL-TIME: REAL MADRID 3-1 ATHLETIC BILBAO. A very surefooted display from Ancelotti's men, especially in the midfield. Isco and Modric will take all the plaudits but it looks as though, slowly but surely, Los Blancos are finding their rhythm under their new coach.
90' + 3'
ISCO!! The midfielder has a chance for the hat-trick after yet another display of skill from Modric. The Croatian picks out Isco on the edge of the area, but his curled effort sails over the bar.
90' + 1'
Madrid continue in search of another goal but Isco's long ball never looks like it is reaching Jese.
Into the final minute then, another offside call against Ronaldo gives Bilbao a free kick.
So Real Madrid, barring the improbable, are going to head into the International break sitting pretty at the top of La Liga with three wins out of three.
Madrid were going to make a change before Casemiro took that knock. Now that he's back on his feet they do, Marcelo coming off for Danie Carvajal.
Jese has a chance from a corner but flashes wide again. It doesn't look good for Casemiro as he appears to have been caught in the face accidentally in the melee for that set piece.
A claim for a penalty now as well for Athletic! A casual clearance from Lopez is almost too casual and Ramos is beaten to the ball by Susaeta inside the Madrid area. There's a coming together and on another day, a referee could have easily penalised Ramos there.
GOOAAALLL!!! IBAI PULLS ONE BACK!!! Nice move from the visitors as Aduriz pulls the ball back and Susaeta's mishit falls kindly for Ibai Gomez who smashes beyond Lopez.
Good chance from Ronaldo as Isco slips him into the area. He manages to get his shot away from a tight angle but a good stop from Herrerin keeps the score down for now.
Real Madrid's midfield have been a joy to behold this afternoon. Modric's defensive display and Isco's attacking intent make for a very exciting partnership for the season ahead.
That assist was Benzema's last action as he makes way for Jese for the final quarter of the match.
GOOOAAALLLL!!!! ISCO AT THE DOUBLE!!! Beautiful, well-worked goal from Los Blancos as Ronaldo picks out Benzema in the area, who in turn lays the ball off to Isco on the edge of the box. The Spanish Under-21 star hits the shot towards one corner, but a deflection sees it glide in to the other, leaving Herrerin no chance.
Substitution for Madrid as Khedira makes way for Casemiro.
Luka Modric has been imperious all afternoon and he highlights it with a fantastic piece of defending, chasing down a dangerous Athletic break and nipping the ball off De Marcos to clear.
Isco is brought down by Benat and Real Madrid have another free kick in a shooting position. Ronaldo steps up and drills low round the wall, only to be denied by a fantastic sprawling save by Herrerin.
Final substitution for Athletic Bilbao and it's a forced one. Iker Muniain is forced off and Ibai Gomez comes on for the hosts.
Carlos Gurpegi takes out Ronaldo yet again and in all honesty he shouldn't be on the park. He throws his elbow into the Portugal forward as he tries to get past him. The free kick is given but no further action is taken.
The corner is eventually played in after Muniain receives treatment. Laporte gets up but the Bilbao centre-back sends his header over the bar.
Iker Muniain is down yet again, this time it looks a little more serious as he is taken to the sidelines for what looks like a foot injury after being caught by Khedira.
Corner for Athletic now as Marcelo slams the ball into touch as he gets there just ahead of Iraola.
Benzema is almost clean through as Athletic are caught short at the back! Only a quick-thinking Herrerin denies Benzema the chance, racing off his line to clear the ball to safety.
First save from Lopez as he gets down comfortably to keep out De Marcos' side-footed effort.
Selfish from Ronaldo. His embarks on a fantastic run, poking the ball between the legs of Gurpegi and blazing a trail towards goal. However with Di Maria completely unmarked on the right hand side of the box, the number 7 goes for glory and sees his shot blocked.
Los Blancos are linking up beautifully today in midfield, with Isco and Modric conducting the play. The only thing letting them down at the moment is the movement up front though, as Ronaldo is caught offside yet again.
Important tackle from Laporte as Isco threatens to break through the back line for Madrid once more.
Óscar De Marcos
There isn't one change, but two from the visitors. Erik Moran and Oscar De Marcos are on. Mikel Rico and Iturraspe are off. Back into the action we go.
The teams are back out and it looks like there is a change by the visitors at the break...
A real sucker-punch for Athletic at the end of the half there. They must have felt they were still in this match at 1-0, but with that second goal that path back to parity looks a lot steeper.
HALF-TIME: REAL MADRID 2-0 ATHLETIC. They haven't been scintillating, but Madrid haven't had to be in this first half. They started slowly before Isco finally got them in front, and an even simpler finish for Ronaldo just before the break has put the hosts firmly in the driving seat.
45' + 1'
AssistÁngel Di María
45' + 1'
GOOOOAAALLL!!! RONALDO MAKES IT TWO!!! Ronaldo has scored, but this goal is all about the delivery. Di Maria whips in the free kick with devastating pace, taking out virtually every Bilbao defender and leaving Portuguese man with the simplest of finishes, with a free header from 10-yards.
45' + 1'
One minute of stoppage time then and we have a free kick for Real Madrid inside the Athletic half.
Nothing doing from the corner for Los Blancos and we are into the final minute of the half at the Bernabeu.
Benzema with another chance now! They're mounting up for the home side now, but still they can't take them. Isco lays the ball back to the number 9 after a decent exchange, the effort on this occasion though is blocked behind for a corner.
Real Madrid break quickly from that second corner and Di Maria's cross finds Benzema in the middle, but his header is over the bar.
Benat's corner for Madrid is left smartly by Mikel Rico at the front post. It then bounces off the thigh of Benzema and loops over the bar. Almost an embarrassing moment for the Frenchman there.
DI MARIA!!! The Argentine glides towards goal but decides to shoot instead of laying off to either Benzema or Ronaldo in space. His poor decision is compounded by his effort as it flies horribly high and horrible wide.
Ronaldo is in behind the Atheltic back four but he's given offside yet again. He's not happy but it's a good call.
The free kick is nodded behind for a corner. Di Maria comes across to take the set piece again but Herrerin is out well to punch the ball clear.
Arbeloa gets forward down the right and is caught by Balenziaga. Free kick for Madrid and Di Maria will swing it in.
A brief stoppage in play as Aduriz receives a bit of treatment. Replays show it was a nasty challenge from Marcelo that caused the injury. If the referee had seen that, there could have been a card out for the Brazilian.
The ball spills out to Susaeta on the edge of the area but Ramos is out quickly to deny the Athletic man a decent shot on goal, the ball looping up into the air and into the arms of Lopez.
Yellow CardSami Khedira
Benat steps up again. This time it's over the wall but it flies wide of the post with Diego Lopez at full stretch. Close.
Athletic have a chance to level the score instantly. Benat has a free kick after a foul from Modric and the referee adjudges his shot is stopped by the arm of Khedira. Athletic now have a free kick right on the edge of the area.
GOOOAAAALLLL!!!! ISCO OPENS THE SCORING!!! It has been coming, and in the end it is all too simple. Benzema has the ball on the edge of the area and clips in a lovely lofted which Isco take down in the area, completely unmarked. The former Malaga man takes a touch and slots beyond Herrerin to give Los Blancos the lead.
From the corner, another chance for Los Blancos! Ramos rises above everyone in the box and heads towards goal. It goes wide, with Marcelo inches away from touching it in at the back stick.
This does trouble Herrerin though! Ronaldo cuts in from the left on to his right foot but Herrerin is down quickly to touch the ball behind for a corner.
Ronaldo does set up to take the set piece but it clips the top of the wall before it can trouble Herrerin.
Yellow CardCarlos Gurpegui
YELLOW CARD! They don't come much more obvious than that. Cristiano Ronaldo bears down on goal and only has Gurpegi to beat. The Athletic defender knows he is getting beaten for pace here and clears out Ronaldo, taking the yellow card and giving away a dangerous free kick in the process.
A free kick in a promising position for Athletic now. Iker Muniain sends it deep to the back post but the Real Madrid defence hold firm on this occasion and clear.
Benzema is clean through but a lack of composure lets him down. Ramos send a quarter-back like pass through the middle of the Athletic defence and Benzema is on to it. He decides against steaming in on goal though and decides to go for the spectacular, his lobbed effort sailing straight into the hands of a grateful Iago Herrerin.
A few appeals for a penalty for Real! Carlos Gurpegi gets too close to Ronaldo in the penalty area and appears to bundle the Portuguese man over. The referee is not interested in the slightest however.
A couple of chances go begging at either end as first Luka Modric and then Aduriz are both caught in offside positions.
A bit of improvisation from Benzema as he attempts to link up with Di Maria by playing keepy ups and lobbing the ball to the Argentine. The pass is behind him though and Di Maria can only divert the ball into touch.
It certainly hasn't been the usual start we have to expect of Real Madrid at a packed Bernabeu. They have allowed Athletic to settle early, to the point where most of the forward movement is coming from the visitors in this opening ten minutes.
Bilbao have looked good in their opening fixtures and one player that has certainly caught the eye is Ander Herrera. He is on the bench though, amidst growing speculation in Spain that he is in line for a move to Manchester United.
First shot of the day and it comes from Mikel Rico of Athletic. Arbeloa sends a poor header straight into the midfielder's path but his attempted effort rolls off of his shin and flies harmlessly wide of Diego Lopez's goal.
Athletic, like Carlo Ancelotti's side, have won both there opening games of the season and you can guarantee they won't be rolling over this afternoon.
Away we go then, Real Madrid hoist a long ball forward with their opening spell of possession but Ronaldo has barely had time to get into the Athletic half before it sails out for a goal kick.
The handshakes and formalities are done and dusted with, Real Madrid are about to get us underway here.
The teams are out at the Bernabeu and so is the sun. The conditions are glorious in Spain, lets hope the football is too.
ATHLETIC: Iago Herrerin, Iraola, Gurpegi, Laporte, Balenziaga, Iturraspe, Mikel Rico, Beñat, Susaeta, Aduriz, Muniain.
REAL MADRID: (4-2-3-1) Diego Lopez; Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Khedira, Modric; Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco, Di Maria; Benzema.
Right, we are only about 10 minutes or so away from kick off so how about some Starting XI's for this early start? We'll start with the home side.
La Liga officials have once again sanctioned morning kick offs this season as they attempt to draw in a larger global audience. It means an earlier start for us but I'm not complaining, today's match should be a corker.
What do Real Madrid and Atheltic Bilbao have in common? Well besides the fact they are both Spanish and that both are yet to resolve their biggest transfer deals of the summer, both are in Madrid today as they take on each other in La Liga at the Bernabeu. I'm Harry Slavin and I'll be here to take you through all the action!
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