News Live Scores

Athletic Club v Real Madrid Live Commentary, 17/5/21

FT
0 - 1
ATH
RMA
Nacho (68)
San Mamés Barria

Commentary

If it is to be Zinedine Zidane's last throw of the dice, then it couldn't get to be much more of a dramatic domestic finale than this. While Bilbao travel to Elche to finish off their season, Los Blancos face fellow European hopefuls Villarreal - and Atletico Madrid face relegation-threatened Real Valladolid. What a lineup. Until then however, thank you for joining us - and have a great week!
Confirmation then, that Atletico Madrid's win means they stay two points ahead at the summit. Madrid's win means that it comes down to the two of them next time out. Barcelona, in a result that will surprise a few, but perhaps not too many, have slumped to defeat against Celta Vigo.
Nacho's 68th-minute strike is enough to keep Real Madrid in the hunt for the LaLiga crown - but it is not enough for them to take to the summit once more. They edge out Athletic Bilbao at San Mames Stadium in a cagey encounter that turned ugly late on - but their mission is accomplished. It will come down to the final day; at full-time, it has finished Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Real Madrid.
90' + 3' FULL-TIME: ATHLETIC BILBAO 0-1 REAL MADRID
90' + 1' This has devolved into a scrappy affair, but it looks like Madrid are going to keep themselves in the fight. What a final day we have in store in LaLiga.
Raúl García
Red Card
Athletic Club
89' What on earth has gone on here? Raul Garcia has just been shown a straight red card by referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz. It's for a challenge, but which one is unclear. Either way, the hosts are down a man, with three minutes of injury time incoming.
87' HUGE news from the capital now - Atletico have taken the lead through Luis Suarez. It is a hammer-blow, against the odds, to Madrid's title hopes. Even if they hang on here, they will remain two points behind their rivals if they can hold on across the country.
85' Big news from the capital - Atletico have squared things up against Osasuna, thanks to Renan Lodi. That is a lifeline for Diego Simeone but it doesn't change where Madrid are heading right now, and that is the summit of LaLiga.
83' Mikel Vesga with the header! My word, that was so close to an equaliser for the hosts, the substitute's effort beating Courtois out but just skimming the wrong side of the left post.
Nacho
Yellow Card
Real Madrid
82' It is practically raining yellow cards in San Mames Stadium right now. Nacho is the latest to get booked. How are Madrid's nerves right now?
Íñigo Martínez
Yellow Card
Athletic Club
79' Inigo Martinez is also booked in short order. It's getting a little bit careless out there right now.
Raúl García
Yellow Card
Athletic Club
79' Raul Garcia has attracted the ire of the officials for his actions now, and he has been duly awarded a booking for his troubles. He'll need to calm things down out there.
E. Hazard
Rodrygo
Real Madrid
77' Eden Hazard arrives now for Real Madrid, to replace Rodrygo, as the visitors look to shore up this victory - a result that may just be the one to see them successfully defend their crown in LaLiga.
75' Hold the press further afield - Atletico have gone behind against Osasuna! Ante Budimir has headed the visitors into the lead against Diego Simeone's side. That is a huge twist in the tale. Madrid will be going clear by a point at the summit if it remains that way.
Ibai Gómez
Unai Vencedor
Athletic Club
72' Ibai Gomez also replaces Unai Vencedor for the hosts.
Unai López
Oihan Sancet
Athletic Club
72' Unai Lopez replaces Oihan Sancet in Bilbao's latest change.
70' To confirm then - that goal means that, as things stand, Real Madrid are going to the top of LaLiga. They would sit on level points with Atletico Madrid, who are still goalless against Osasuna, but would sit ahead because of their superior head-to-head record. What a monumental moment that is in the title race.
Casemiro
Assist
Real Madrid
68' VAR took a surprisingly quick look at that given the magnitude of game, and Benzema - who seemingly was involved in the build-up there - looked to be offside after Casemiro nudged a low ball across the six-yard area to Nacho. Still, it stands, and that is a huge boost to Real Madrid.
Nacho
Goal
Real Madrid
68' GOAL! NACHO HANDS REAL MADRID THE LEAD! 1-0! It's possibly going to nead a look from VAR to see if Karim Benzema has had a touch in a clearly offside position, but the goal stands! It's a close-range finish after what appeared to be a flick touch and Los Blancos have their goal.
Raúl García
Jon Morcillo
Athletic Club
65' Lastly, Raul Garcia replaces Jon Morcillo.
Asier Villalibre
Williams
Athletic Club
65' Asier Villalibre also replaces Inaki Williams for the hosts.
Mikel Vesga
Dani García
Athletic Club
65' A raft of changes for Bilbao now, as they look to keep this game from slipping away from them, with Mikel Vesga on to replace Dani Garcia.
63' Real Madrid have mustered almost twice as many shots this half as their hosts. But still, they do not have the key to unlock this stubborn Bilbao defence.
61' Casemiro hits the woodwork! My word, that should have been the opener for Madrid. You could hear the rattle in the next postcode as his looping header strikes the crossbar. Close but no cigar for Los Blancos.
Asensio
Vinícius Júnior
Real Madrid
59' Marco Asensio replaces Vinicius in the first change of the game now, as Madrid look to inject some extra life into their chances as this game hits the hour mark.
58' Shot! Madrid force Simon into the tip-around save at his left post after Modric fires on in. The Croatian sees another attempt blocked from the subsequent corner. He looks one of the more dangerous faces in an often soporific clash out there.
56' There is movement now from both technical areas and benches at San Mames Stadium. We might not be too far off the first changes of the game.
54' There is still no change elsewhere in LaLiga when it comes to Atletico and Barcelona. At the moment, all three title contenders remain in an impasse. 
52' Vinicius sees an effort deflected wayward for a soft corner, but the shot from the young attacker isn't too far of the mark, even with the heavy touch. More of that from Madrid will please Zinedine Zidane.
50' Jon Morcillo with the shot! Courtois is forced into a close-range save as the Bilbao man tries to power a finish beyond him at the left post, moments after Eder Militao stuck a header over down the other end.
48' No changes from either side at the break - Madrid's injury problems do restrict their options - but don't be too surprised if we see a swap at some point before the hour mark. The patterns of this game need to be broken by Los Blancos if they hope to win it.
46' We are back underway for the second half in LaLiga. All of the top three remain tied in their respective games - but can it be Madrid who seize the initiative here?
If there is a silver lining for Zinedine Zidane, it is that Atletico Madrid are currently also in the midst of a goalless encounter. Victory for Diego Simeone's side would not be terminal, as long as the visitors find a point here - but it would be a psychological blow nonetheless.
It's goalless at the interval at San Mames Stadium, with nothing to separate Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid in LaLiga - and with nothing to show for Los Blancos' title charge. The visitors are at risk of slipping up, unless they kick things up a notch. At half-time, it is Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Real Madrid.
45' HALF-TIME: ATHLETIC BILBAO 0-0 REAL MADRID
43' Now it is Berenguer's turn to go close! A decent free-kick opportunity presents itself just outside the Madrid box and the Bilbao man whistles it by a few inches around the wrong side of the right post.
41' Oh, much better from Madrid! Vinicius slides a ball through for Rodrygo that is almost pinpoint-perfect and Simon has to dart off his line to desperately sweep it up before it can be buried in the goal.
39' Karim Benzema has scored 14 goals in 23 meetings with Athletic in all competitions, his joint-most against any opponent in his entire career at Madrid (level with Granada).
37' But now Celta Vigo have squared up against Ronald Koeman's side! That leaves Madrid in second outright - but that doesn't really change much. Atletico remain ahead of them, unless they can snag a win here.
35' Some news from further afield - Lionel Messi has put Barcelona ahead against Celta Vigo. As things stand, that would lift the Blaugrana onto level pegging with Madrid - but not ahead of them, due to Los Blancos' superior record.
33' Replays inside San Mames Stadium are continuing to return to that Benzema non-penalty call, but it seems foolish. The Madrid man looks to cut across Yeray Alvarez and fell him as he goes down himself. It's not conclusive enough - though we have seen those given before.
31' Benzema feels he should have a penalty now for a tumble in the Bilbao box but he is just as at fault as anybody else. Still no breakthrough for Madrid in their title chase.
29' Close to the woodwork! Benzema goes near the crossbar with a header and that should be a wake-up call for this game as it approaches the half-hour mark.
28' VAR is called upon for a potential infringement ahead of a particularly average Madrid corner and comes to nothing for either side. There might have been a handball shout in there, but it is hard to tell.
26' Modric scoops a shot in from the left flank that Simon seizes upon with a neat move. It's one of the most threatening balls Los Blancos have put together and it comes from their evergreen Croatian again.
24' Bilbao have conceded the highest percentage of their goals via headers in LaLiga this season (38% - 15/39), while Madrid have scored the most headed goals in the competition this term (16). Don't be surprised if the breakthrough comes that way today.
22' A Valverde effort from distance - at least 35 yards - is disappointingly wayward. So far, Madrid aren't giving the indicator that they are a side with the composure to win a crown in LaLiga.
20' Real Madrid have won 10 of their last 15 away games in LaLiga against Bilbao after winning just two of their previous 13 away matches against them in the competition. They've done well on the road here.
18' That said, Madrid have seen almost twice as much possession as their hosts so far, even if they are yet to do anything too concrete with it. Vinicius thinks about a ball into the box and then decides against it, pigeonholed back by a pair of defenders.
16' It has not quite been the gung-ho showing some might have hoped for, if the news of Zinedine Zidane's immediate exit is to be true. Has his squad lost the drive at this crucial juncture? They seem a little bit winded, even early on.
Álex Berenguer
Yellow Card
Athletic Club
14' Berenguer picks up the first booking of the game now as Madrid look to set their stall out with a swift move down the left flank, the Bilbao man clipping Vinicius to the turf near halfway.
13' The free-kick is prodded into Madrid's box with almost a degree of hesitation and Thibaut Courtois will have no problem defusing that particular concern.
11' The hosts now execute a swift counter-press of their own, just to keep Madrid guessing. They come down the wings, after Vinicius sees a half-chance blocked, and they'll have a free-kick following a Nacho foul.
9' We'll be keeping an eye not just on how things are panning out for Atletico elsewhere today, but also Barcelona, who still have a path to the title - even if it would require some unlikely results to fall in their favour. Madrid are yet to try a shot.
7' Los Blancos are pressing high so far, but are finding their opportunities to penetrate the Bilbao box relatively limited. The attacking trio so far are blunted, particularly Benzema. Still, this is early - very early - days.
5' Both sides are feeling out each others' capabilities so far. On paper, this should be a win for Madrid - but as they have shown in their knockout exploits this season, the hosts are far from a pushover when it comes down to the wire.
3' A delivery into the Madrid box sees Casemiro drop to the turf and Williams come close to accidentally stomping on him. The former needs some treatment before play can continue.
1' We are underway in LaLiga, as Real Madrid face off with Athletic Bilbao!
As the teams take to the field at San Mames Stadium, a quick reminder of what is unfolding elsewhere in LaLiga at the same time. Leaders Atletico are squaring off with Osasuna - and Diego Simeone's team remain two points ahead of Zidane's side. If they slip up, the door is open.
Madrid have beaten Bilbao more times than any side in the history of LaLiga, both in total (92) and on their home ground (32). Los Blancos have also scored more goals against them than any team in the competition (356, an average of two per match). They'll need those finishes to stay in the hunt.
Subs: Eden Hazard, Mariano, Isco, Diego Altube, Marco Asensio, Marcelo, Antonio Blanco, Andriy Lunin.
REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Alvaro Odriozola, Eder Militao, Nacho, Miguel Gutierrez; Federico Valverde, Casemiro, Luka Modric; Rodrygo, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior,
Subs: Ibai Gomez, Raul García, Asier Villalibre, Mikel Vesga, Jokin Ezkieta, Unai Lopez, Unai Nunez.
ATHLETIC BILBAO (4-4-2): Unai Simon; Oscar De Marcos, Yeray Alvarez, Inigo Martinez, Mikel Balenziaga; Alex Berenguer, Dani García, Unai Vencedor, Jon Morcillo; Inaki Williams, Oihan Sancet.
Despite the three-day turnaround from Thursday's win over Granada, there is just one change for the visitors, with Alvaro Odriozola returning to the starting XI. The hosts meanwhile make five changes, with Inkai Williams' return the headline news.
But the real news is that Madrid are set to bid farewell to their coach again. When Zinedine Zidane stood down in 2018, he had scored three Champions League triumphs - but there's a nagging sense he may be choosing to move this time before he is pushed. Such is the fickle nature of football.
In contrast, it has been mixed fortunes for Los Leones this term, but Marcelino may well be inclined to consider it a success. They are poised to finish higher than they did in 2019-20 - and with a Supercopa de Espana to their name, silverware is back on the menu. They'll want to finish with a flourish.
Two games to go, and two points between Los Blancos and cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid. For the visitors, it has been a roller-coaster few weeks; eliminated in Europe, then hiccuping at the final few hurdles. Their fate is out of their own hands - but victory keeps them in with a shout.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of LaLiga, as Real Madrid look to keep their chances of a successful 2020-21 title defence on song - and potentially send Zinedine Zidane out on a high note - against Athletic Bilbao, live from San Mames Stadium.