Raul Garcia’s early red card put the guests in danger, but Toni Kroos struck before half-time for Los Blancos. Capa levelled soon after the break, but Karim Benzema, who has so often been the saviour of Zinedine Zidane’s side, grabbed a winner 16 minutes from the end.
✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCE
Toni Kroos: 8.3
The German continues to turn in performances of a high standard on a regular basis. Along with Luka Modric in the midfield, he ran the game, enjoying 105 touches and playing 90 passes for a completion rate of 97%. Nearly one in three of these were in the final third of the pitch.
And, of course, he broke the game open just as it seemed Athletic would get into the break unscathed. His finish was powerful from the edge of the box.
❌ BAD PERFORMANCE
Alex Berenguer: 5.5
It was a tough shift for Athletic’s attacking players in this match given their backs were effectively to the wall from the first half.
Berenguer, however, was simply unable to make a telling contribution and was replaced early in the second period as the Basques sought to secure a point.
⭐ STAR MAN
Karim Benzema: 8.6
Karim Benzema keeps coming up with the goods at vital times for Madrid. He was twice on target in the critical 2-0 Champions League win over Borussia Monchengladbach and matched that in this fixture.
The Frenchman was the recipient of a fine delivery from Dani Carvajal, who also had a fine game, to notch the winner just as it seemed the game was heading for a draw.
His second was even better. He gathered the ball on the left, cut inside before offloading possession, then continued his run into space in the box before delivering the coup de grace.