That could prove to be a big result for Real Madrid in the context of the Spanish title race. Athletic Bilbao dominated large periods of the match but they just couldn't create much in the way of goalscoring opportunities. Zidane's side have stretched their lead at the top of La Liga.
- 2nd Half
- BeñatMikel Rico80'
- Cristiano RonaldoIsco79'
- 1st Half
Athletic Club - Real Madrid
Liga - 18 March 2017
Liga – Follow the Football match between Athletic Club and Real Madrid live with Eurosport. The match starts at 16:15 on 18 March 2017. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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- End of 2nd Half
FULL TIME: Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid have been vulnerable at the back in recent weeks, but this has been one of their better defensive displays of the season. Zidane's tactics, for the most part, have worked.
Three minutes of stoppage time to be played at the end of the match.
A point here would really help Athletic Bilbao's European aspirations, but for the moment it looks unlikely that they will come away with anything. They're not creating chances.
- OffKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
- OnÁlvaro MorataReal Madrid
There's Real Madrid's final change of the match and Morata has finally been brought off the bench.
Real Madrid now look to be playing with a five in the centre of the park, but the majority of that five are sitting just in front of the back four. They are sitting deep. Athletic don't know what to do.
This was billed as one of Real Madrid's biggest and toughest tests between now and the end of the season, so Zidane will be deligheted if they can come away with three points.
- OffBeñatAthletic Club
- OnMikel RicoAthletic Club
Rico comes on for Athletic Bilbao as the home side look to mount one final challenge to get something from this match. Time is running out for them.
There was no indication of injury from Ronaldo as he walked off, so that is a slightly strange change by Zidane. He believes Isco is better suited to see out the game for Real Madrid?
- OffCristiano RonaldoReal Madrid
- OnIscoReal Madrid
Ronaldo is coming off for Real Madrid! Is this down to tactics or has the Portuguese attacker picked up an injury?
Navas makes the save to deny Williams at the near post. It was a decent stop by the Real Madrid goalkeeper, but it's the kind of save you would expect him to make.
Indeed, Real Madrid are inviting pressure on top of themselves. They are plugging the gaps at the back in the hope of winning the ball and hitting out on the counter attack.
Athletic Bilbao look to have composed themselves and are now probing away again on the edge of the opposition penalty area. Real Madrid are quite happy to sit deep.
GREAT CHANCE FOR REAL! Marcelo bursts forward from the back and plays a one-two with Benzema, but Athletic Bilbao just about make the clearance, with Marcelo also blasting over the rebound.
Bale still isn't having much of impression on this game. Ronaldo and Benzema have certainly played their part but the Welsh winger still looks some way short of top form.
It was an especially cool finish from Casemiro to put Real Madrid ahead. He waited for the goalkeeper to make his move before slotting home from about six yards out.
Real Madrid are somewhat fortunate to be ahead again. They have been second best in this second half, but they have made the most of their opportunities in front of goal.
- GoalCasemiroReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Athletic Bilbao 1 Real Madrid 2 (68 mins - Casemiro). That's a body blow for the home side! Just minutes after their equaliser Real Madrid have taken the lead again! Casemiro slots home a finish after a near post flick on from a corner by Ronaldo.
Garcia was especially selfless in setting up that goal for Aduriz. He could have taken on the header himself, but had the presence of mind to square it back to his strike partner.
And that is what Aduriz and Garcia offer you as a front two. Both players are exceptional in the air and it was fantastic link up play that produced that goal. It's 1-1 with 20 minutes left to play.
- GoalAritz AdurizAthletic Club
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Athletic Bilbao 1 (65 mins - Aritz Aduriz) Real Madrid 1. The home side are back on level terms and it's Aduriz who has got the goal! A cross from the right wing was headed back into the danger area by Garcia and Aduriz was on hand to finish.
BIG SAVE FROM NAVAS! Williams got on the end of a cross from the right side, but the Real Madrid goalkeeper made a reflex save to deny the Athletic man and keep his side ahead.
- OffLuka ModricReal Madrid
- OnLucas VázquezReal Madrid
This is a slightly strange one. It's Modric who is coming off to be replaced by the attacker Vazquez.
It looks like there is going to be a first change from Zidane. Vazquez is down on the touchline receiving instruction from the Real Madrid coaching staff. Who will he replace?
- OffIñigo LekueAthletic Club
- OnIker MuniainAthletic Club
There's the first change of the match and it's Lekue who is coming off for Athletic Bilbao.
All the while, Real Madrid will be looking to hit out on the counter attack as soon as they get he ball. Athletic Bilbao are leaving space at the back and a second goal would kill this as a contest.
Athletic Bilbao are the ones controlling the majority of possession, probing away on the edge of the Real Madrid penalty area. But the home side look rather comfortable defending.
Benzema seems to have run off whatever injury he picked up towards the end of the first half. The striker seemed to make a signal to the bench that he is fine to continue.
Bale has struggled to get himself involved in the match much this afternoon. The Welshman is still recovering from an injury and I think you can see that in his performance.
That was great work from Casemiro. The Brazilian worked back to rob Garcia of the ball just as Athletic Bilbao were committing players forward on the counter attack. Hugely important.
Ramos has been solid for Real Madrid at the back so far this afternoon. He has been safe in possession and has made up for a couple of shaky moment from Navas in goals.
Benzema has been the best player on the pitch, but it's quite clear that the Real Madrid striker is struggling with an injury now. Zidane will surely make the change. He has Morata on the bench.
Kroos should have taken a shot at goal himself! Marcelo's backheel set up the German with space inside the penalty area, but he decided instead to clip a cross to the back post.
Williams has been excellent this afternoon and he is now acting as cheerleader. He is gesturing to the home supporters inside San Mames to make more noise. They are obliging.
This has been a strong start to the second half by Athletic Bilbao, but they also started the first half the better of the two teams and Real Madrid eventually weathered the storm.
ADURIZ HEADER ON GOAL! The Athletic Bilbao leaps above his marker to get a header on goal, but between Ramos and Navas Real Madrid manage to clear the danger.
No changes made by either team at the break. Benzema suffered a knock towards the end of the first half, but the French striker has emerged for the start of the second.
- 2nd Half
The second half is under way at San Mames! Real Madrid are 1-0 up on Athletic Bilbao.
What did you make of the firts half at San Mames? Do Athletic Bilbao have to make more of their chances? Could Benzema's injury be a problem? Tweet me!
- End of 1st Half
HALF TIME: Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Real Madrid. An enthralling half of football comes to a close and Benzema's goal is the difference between the two sides. Real have been more clinical.
That was a sore one for Benzema. Benat caught him on the ankle with a late tackle but the French striker is now back on his feet and seems to be ready to continue. Fortunate for him.
Valverde will be quite pleased with how his team have played in this first half. They have gone toe-to-toe with Real Madrid. They just need to make sure they take their opportunities.
Williams has enjoyed a good first half. Marcelo hasn't been able to get near him, but the Athletic Bilbao winger hasn't provided the final ball Aduriz so badly needs. Where's his final product?
That was some lovely interplay from Real Madrid. Marcelo and Ronaldo linked up really well down the left side, but the cross into the area was just a little too strong for Benzema.
This has been an exceptional match for the neutral so far. Athletic Bilbao have responded pretty well since conceding the opener. They are still pressing every chance they get.
- Yellow cardCasemiroReal Madrid
Finally, the Brazilian enters the book. He should have seen a yellow card for his foul on Williams a long time ago.
- Yellow cardDani CarvajalReal Madrid
And one for the Real Madrid right back.
- Yellow cardAritz AdurizAthletic Club
There's a yellow card for the Athletic Bilbao striker...
Indeed, the referee is going to book a couple of players here. He finally seems to have got things under control again, but this is turning into quite a tesy affair between these two teams.
SCUFFLE! The two sets of players are in each other's faces now after a clash between Ramos and Garcia. Casemiro is getting into the thick of things. Will there be repercusions here?
BALE SHOT ON GOAL! The Welsh winger takes aim from the best part of 20 yards, but his strike is straight at Kepa and the Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper gets his body behind it to make the save.
Before that goal Athletic Bilbao had probably been the better of the two teams, but they have left space in behind for the pace and directness of Real Madrid to exploit. That's what happened there.
- GoalKarim BenzemaReal Madrid
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Athletic Bilbao 0 Real Madrid 1 (25 mins - Karim Benzema). It's Real Madrid who have taken the lead at San Mames! Ronaldo got in behind the Athletic defence and played a pass right across the face of goal for Benzema to finish into the corner. Great goal.
That certainly should have been a booking. Casemiro took down Williams cynically but the referee decides to keep his cards in his pocket when he should have shown the Brazilian a yellow.
I just get the feeling that Real Madrid are beginning to take hold of things in the middle of the pitch. Modric is starting to control the midfield area, pulling the strings from deep.
This has been an end-to-end encounter so far. Both Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid are desperate for three points here and that is showing in how quick they are to attack.
That was close to finding Bale at the back post. The Welsh winger has been quiet early on in this match, but he was on hand to get on the end of Benzema's cross. The clearance was made, though.
RONALDO DENIED! Real Madrid hit out on the counter attack, with Ronaldo getting a low shot away on goal, but Kepa got down well to make the diving save to deny him from finding the opener.
There were protests from the Real Madrid players that Yeray was offside, but the flag wasn't raised and that was a glorious chance for the home side to take the lead. How did he miss?
WHAT A CHANCE! That was easily the best opportunity of the match so far. An Athletic Bilbao freekick was headed down inside the area, but from close range Yeray puts his shot past the post.
Real Madrid have also been sloppy in their possession. Athletic Bilbao have nipped in a number of times to steal the ball from the visitors in the centre of the pitch. They must improve.
Lekue is proving such an effective outlet on the wing. That way Athletic Bilbao can stretch the pitch, creating space in the middle for the likes of both Aduriz and Garcia.
This has been impressive stuff from Athletic Bilbao. They are really taking the game to Real Madrid, but they have to make sure that they don't leave to much space in behind.
RONALDO GOAL RULED OUT! Real Madrid have the ball in the back of the net with their first attack, with Ronaldo turning home a Carvajal shot from close range, but he was offside.
Garcia is giving Real Madrid all sorts of problems. The former Atletico Madrid player is so strong in the air and both Ramos and Nacho are struggling to get a grip of him in the box.
Normally you would think Athletic Bilbao are most dangerous from set pieces, they have a reputation for it. But they have actually only scored once from 60 corner kicks this season.
CHANCE FOR ATHLETIC! That was close to the opener for the home side, with Aduriz's shot cleared off the line by a combinaton of both Navas and Nacho. Athletic are pressing here.
Lekue looks very lively for Athletic Bilbao in these opening 10 minutes or so. Real Madrid are having trouble keeping tabs on him, with his pace getting him in behind.
This has been a positive start to the match by Athletic Bilbao. The hosts are the one on the front foot at the moment, with Real Madrid having to do some defending in their own half.
Athletic Bilboa were actually without Aduriz for a game against Barcelona recently, with Williams up front. But he is out on the wing this afternoon, which is his natural position.
Aduriz is leading the line for Real Madrid this afternoon. He will be the danger man for Athletic Bilbao. He just seems to get better with age, the veteran striker. He has a good record against Real.
This could be a real test for Real Madrid. Athletic Bilbao tend to be strong at home in front of their own fans. The home supporters seem to be really up for this one early on.
Real Madrid have the chance to stretch their lead at the top of the table before Barcelona's game later this evening. Zidane's side are in control of the title race after last weekend.
- 1st Half
The first half is under way at San Mames! It's Athletic Bilbao against Real Madrid.
TEAM NEWS: Athletic Bilbao - Kepa, De Marcos, Laporte, Yeray, Balenziaga, Iturraspe, Benat, Lekue, Garcia, Williams, Aduriz. /// Real Madrid - Navas, Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.
I'm Graham Ruthven and you can catch me on Twitter ahead of the match to let me know your thoughts. Can Athletic Bilbao see off Zinedine Zidane's side? Will this be a stroll for Real? Tweet me!
Good afternoon and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Liga games between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid. We'll bring you all the action from the San Mames. Kick-off: 15.15.