2019 ends with a disappointing draw for Real Madrid, but the Athletic Club fans inside the Santiago Bernabeu are celebrating. It just wouldn't happen for the home side who have fallen two points off the pace set by Barcelona at the top of La Liga heading into the winter break. That was an opportunity missed.
- 2nd Half
- Vinícius JúniorJovic72'
Real Madrid - Athletic Club
Liga - 22 December 2019
Liga – Follow the Football match between Real Madrid and Athletic Club live with Eurosport. The match starts at 21:00 on 22 December 2019. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
Who will come out on top in the battle of the managers Zinédine Zidane or Gaizka Garitano? Find out by following our live matchcast.
Have your say by voting on who will win between Real Madrid and Athletic Club? Enjoy some pre-match reading with related articles about these two Enjoy some pre-match reading with related articles about these two Football teams.
Head-to-head: see historical stats and visit our detailed profiles for Real Madrid vs Athletic Club. Get all the latest on Football: fixtures, results and tables.
- End of 2nd Half
FULL TIME: Real Madrid 0-0 Athletic Club
Kroos sends the diagonal ball into the box looking for the head of Jovic, but it was far too close to Simon and the Athletic Club goalkeeper makes the easy catch. Is that this one over?
Is there one last chance left in this match? Real Madrid are the ones pressing the matter, but Athletic Club have everyone behind the ball and are doing a decent job of holding firm.
Real Madrid are just three minutes from dropping two very big points that would see Barcelona head into the Christmas and New Year break top of the La Liga standings.
There is still time for either side to find a winning goal, but where did those six minutes of stoppage time come from? There didn't seem to be many stoppages during the second half.
There will be SIX minutes of stoppage time played at the end of the match.
Ramos is now being used as an emergency centre forward. Keep in mind that Courtois helped Real Madrid find a stoppage time equaliser against Valencia last weekend! There's still time.
- Yellow cardSergio RamosReal Madrid
Ramos is shown the first yellow card of the match. It took until the closing stages of the game! He picks up a one-match suspension for that.
Off the woodwork for a third time! It's just not going in for Real Madrid this evening. Jovic flicked a header on, he had to create all the power himself, but the ball comes off the base of the post! Simon didn't move.
- OffIñaki WilliamsAthletic Club
- OnBeñatAthletic Club
Finally, another change for the away team and Williams comes off to be replaced by Benat.
Benzema is now drifting all over the pitch to take a grip of things. The Frenchman is therefore leaving Jovic as the central striker. Benzema is trying to make this happen on his own.
Athletic Club just aren't getting out at all at the moment. They are quite simply hanging on for a point. They aren't even attempting to get out on the break. It's defence versus attack.
Garitano has still only used the one substitute. Meanwhile, Athletic Club are struggling to get out and are really running low on energy. Why isn't Garitano looking to his bench at this point?
This has been a long way off being a vintage performance by Real Madrid, but you'd have to say that they have been the better team and deserve to have the lead. A big final 10 minutes here.
PICTURE: It just hasn't happened for Real Madrid so far.
Real Madrid are just 10 minutes away from ensuring that Barcelona are top of La Liga for Christmas. Of course, a winner and three points would see them draw level with their rivals.
The home fans inside the Santiago Bernabeu are growing restless. They believe that Athletic Club are time wasting. This would be a big result for the Basque side. Just over 10 minutes left to play.
Zidane has tried using Benzema and Jovic as a front two before this season and it hasn't really worked. All it achieved was reducing the level of control in the middle of the pitch. Will this be any different?
- OffKenan KodroAthletic Club
- OnAsier VillalibreAthletic Club
Kodro was a threat for Athletic Club, but he is coming off to be replaced by Villalibre. That's the away team's first change.
- OffVinícius JúniorReal Madrid
- OnLuka JovicReal Madrid
Vinicius comes off and it's Jovic who is thrown on by Zidane. Real Madrid playing with two up top now.
Courtois came off his line to chest and then launch a clearance forward. That clearance turned into a good pass, but Modric's shot is blocked. Almost a second assist in a week for the goalkeeper!
Last ditch tackle! For the first time in the second half Athletic Club get in behind with Lekue playing a ball into Williams, but Carvajal stretches to make the tackle and concede the corner kick.
Surely Garitano has to make a change soon? His Athletic Club side are looking weary and are struggling to get out from their own half. It's almost like they're waiting to concede!
Simon makes another save from Benzema. This has been a bit of a personal duel between these two players. As things stand it's the Athletic Club goalkeeper coming out on top.
Vinicius goes down! The Brazilian youngster jinks past two tackles and into the Athletic Club box. Vinicius then went down and appealed for a penalty kick, but the officials aren't buying it.
Athletic Club have yet to make a change. Might Gomez be one of the players brought off the bench? They have seen very little of the ball in this second half. Pegged back in their own half.
Bale did seem to be deep in discussion with Zidane on the touchline before coming on. I thought the Welshman couldn't speak Spanish? Did he understand what his manager was telling him?
Can Bale make the difference for Real Madrid? This is a big 25 minutes in the context of their season and in the context of the title race at the top of La Liga heading into the winter break.
- OffRodrygoReal Madrid
- OnGareth BaleReal Madrid
Here comes another Real Madrid change and Bale is coming on. Rodrygo is the one who is hooked by Zidane.
PICTURE: Vinicius has struggled in front of goal tonight.
Off the crossbar! Real Madrid strike the woodwork for the second time! It was Nacho who with his first touch after coming on powers a header from a corner off the crossbar! So close to an instant impact!
- OffEder MilitaoReal Madrid
- OnNachoReal Madrid
Militao can't continue after that hand in the face from Kodro and on comes Nacho in his place.
Straight at Benzema! The Real Madrid striker made the run in behind Athletic Club with Carvajal finding him. But on the turn Benzema could only send his low shot straight at Simon.
Williams couldn't get the shot away! That was great play from Yuri on the break as he surged 50 yards down the pitch, he played the pass at the right time, but Williams failed to test Courtois.
The home supporters inside the Santiago Bernabeu probably won't savour the introduction of Bale, but Real Madrid really could use the goal threat that the Welshman brings.
Might Real Madrid be forced into a change here? The suggestion is that Militao took a hand in the face from Kodro and there are now concerns about the centre back's eyesight.
Militao has gone down dramatically after taking an arm in the face from Kodro, but the Athletic Club man insists that it was accidental. That was probably the case in all honesty.
That was an opportunity for Real Madrid to really test Athletic Club with a freekick delivery into the area, but the hosts had two players offside and that was a waste from them.
Modric and Kroos have both played well tonight for Real Madrid, but the hosts can't be so dependent on Benzema in this second half. Rodrygo and Vinicius both need to step up.
Athletic Club were pegged back inside their own half for much of the first period, but they still managed to create a couple of chances and had a goal chalked off for a marginal offside.
PICTURE: Benzema hasn't been able to get the better of Simon.
Bale has been sent to go warm up down the touchline. Might we see the Welsh winger in this second half? He started the draw against Barcelona, but is on the bench again today.
Real Madrid had the better of the opening 45 minutes and certainly created the better of the scoring opportunities, but they have yet to make the breakthrough. More cutting edge needed.
- 2nd Half
The second half is under way! It's still goalless between Real Madrid and Athletic Club in this La Liga fixture.
What did you make of the first half at the Santiago Bernabeu? Should Zidane be worried by how Athletic Club have troubled his side? Or will Real Madrid get the breakthrough in the second half? Tweet me!
- End of 1st Half
HALF TIME: Real Madrid 0-0 Athletic Club. It's been an interesting encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu so far. The hosts have had the edge, but they have also looked vulnerable at the back.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO... NO! Kodro is played through, composes himself inside the box and then lashes a finish past Courtois into the roof of the Real Madrid net, but he was JUST offside and the goal is chalked off.
That's wild from Benzema. Real Madrid are relying on their French forward for the breakthrough here. This time Benzema gets it all wrong and sends his shot well wide of the target.
This has been a strange first half at the Santiago Bernabeu. Athletic Club have struggled to get out of their own half, but when they have they have carried some sort of potency.
BENZEMA... straight at Simon! Not for the first time in this match, the Real Madrid striker finds space in between the three Athletic centre backs, but his header is straight at Simon! That was a real chance.
Vinicius gets to the byline and sends a low ball into the middle, but Nunez was alert to the idea from the Brazilian youngster and makes the clearance at his near post. Danger away.
Williams is giving Militao all kinds of problems. The Real Madrid summer signing if struggling to deal with the directness of the Athletic Club forward. That's one to keep an eye on.
That's a handful of golden opportunities that Real Madrid have had now to take the lead in this first half. They really should be ahead by now, but Athletic Club still find themselves level.
Cleared off the line! Benzema pounced on a mistake by Martinez, rounded Simon and then squeezed a low shot on target from a narrow angle, but Nunez got back to clear off his own line with a backheel!
Benzema header! The Real Madrid striker peels away from his marker at the back post to get on the end of a delivery from Rodrygo, but Benzema's header is saved by Simon. Good stop!
Real Madrid are dominating possession here, but Athletic Club are aware of the space that is in behind the defence of the home side. They have the pace to make the most of it.
That was a lovely idea and cross from Modric with the outside of the boot as he attempted to find Benzema in the middle. The Croatian midfielder looks to be in the mood tonight.
Zidane will surely be quite pleased with how his team have started this match, but Real Madrid need to do more to test Simon. The Athletic Club goalkeeper has only made one save.
There's this notion that Kroos can only score goals from long range, but his chance earlier in this game underlines how that impression is unfair. He is capable closer to goal as well.
Valverde has become a key figure for Real Madrid this season. The Uruguayan is now one of the first names on the team sheet. He has yet to make his mark on this game, though.
Berchiche was inside the box and believes that he was fouled by Militao, but the freekick is given the other way. The replays show that the Athletic Club man was very much blameless.
Diving header! Modric teased a cross to the back post where Rodrygo was making his run, but it was always going to be difficult for the Brazilian and Simon makes the easy save.
This has been a pretty open match in the sense that there is space in behind the Real Madrid defence for Williams and Lekue to exploit. They just haven't done that yet. Opportunity there.
Courtois denies Williams! That's better from the Athletic Club forward who makes the run in behind before getting the low shot away, but the Real Madrid goalkeeper makes the diving save down to his left.
Looking at the replays it seemed that Simon got something on that shot from Kroos. The shot took a deflection off the Athletic Club goalkeeper's head on its way up on to the crossbar!
Off the underside of the crossbar! How didn't that go in? It was an astonishing run from Kroos inside the box, but the German midfielder then smashed his finish off the underside of the bar and the ball bounces away.
Benzema is dropping deep to receive the ball in midfield, but the issue then comes when he looks up and the only option he has ahead of him is Mendy making a run high up the pitch.
Williams has the pace to get the better of Ramos, but that's a couple times that he has faced the Real Madrid captain and he has failed to take him on. Williams needs to have more belief in himself!
Casemiro is suspended for this match after picking up a yellow card n the draw against Barcelona, but Real Madrid are benefiting from having the control of Kroos and Modric in the middle.
There is a sense that Real Madrid are already starting to turn the screw on Athletic Club with the visitors to the Santiago Bernabeu finding it difficult to make a mark on the counter attack.
VINICIUS... wide! That should have been the opener for Real Madrid. Vinicius showed great skill inside the box to send two defenders flying past him, but he then shot straight at Simon when he should have found the back of the net.
Real Madrid were the better of the two teams in the Clasico on Wednesday night, but they struggled to create much in the way of goalscoring opportunities. Can they change that tonight?
The scene in the Spanish capital...
It's been a fairly even start to the match at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid have had the one goalscoring opportunity, but it wasn't a clear one and Athletic Club have been competitive.
Hazard is still out injured for Real Madrid. Benzema has missed not having the Belgian alongside him over the past few weeks, but Rodrygo and Vinicius have stepped up their games.
Williams has the chance to take on Ramos, but decides to make the pas instead. And then Lekue had the chance to take on Mendy and he also makes the pass instead. Hmmmm...
Modric didn't start the game against Barcelona at the Camp Nou during the week, but the Croatian has been in good form of late. He will be a key figure for Real Madrid here tonight.
Early shot! Real Madrid get the first shot away with Modric setting up Vinicius with a wonderful piece of skill, but the Brazilian youngster drags his tame effort wide of the far post.
Indeed, Athletic Club have a dreadful record at the Santiago Bernabeu. In fact, they haven't won at the home of Real Madrid for 14 years. Can they change that record tonight?
Varane has been rested for this game this evening with Militao coming into the Real Madrid starting lineup. Of course, after this La Liga will take a two week break over Christmas and New Year.
- 1st Half
The match is under way! It's Real Madrid against Athletic Club in this La Liga fixture.
Okay, here we go. We're about to get started at the Santiago Bernabeu. Kick off is just moments away.
This is one of the most historic fixtures in La Liga. Neither of these two teams have been relegated, although Athletic Club's record at the Santiago Bernabeu is poor.
This is the final game of 2019 in La Liga and this should be a good match between two quality sides. Looking forward to this one.
A victory for Athletic Club could take them up into the top six. Their season has been solid so far, but they must find consistency if they are to finish in the European places.
Barcelona went three points clear at the top of the Spanish Liga table yesterday with a home win over Alaves and so the pressure shifts back on to Real Madrid to draw level again with a win tonight.
I'm Graham Ruthven and you can catch me on Twitter ahead of the match to let me know your thoughts. Can Real Madrid keep up with Barcelona's pace at the top of La Liga? Tweet me!
Varane has been rested by Zidane for this match with Militao handed the starting place. Bale is on the bench while Rodrygo and Vinicius have been picked to start in attack alongside Benzema.
TEAM NEWS: Real Madrid - Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Ramos, Mendy, Kroos, Valverde, Modric, Vinicius, Rodrygo, Benzema. /// Athletic Club - Simon, Yeray, Nunez, Martinez, Berchiche, Garcia, Vesga, Lekue, Garcia, Williams, Kodro.
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Liga fixture between Real Madrid and Athletic Club. We'll bring you all the action as it happens at the Santiago Bernabeu. Kick off is at 20:00 GMT.