Share

Late Morata goal sends Real Madrid top of La Liga

Alvaro Morata

Alvaro Morata’s goal was only his second in nine La Liga games since his summer return from Juventus

Real Madrid went top of the La Liga table thanks to a hard-fought victory over Athletic Bilbao.

Karim Benzema put Real 1-0 up after Isco squared it to the French striker.

But Sabin Merino levelled after Pepe and Dani Carvajal failed to take the ball from Javier Eraso.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed a host of chances for Real but substitute Alvaro Morata, on his 24th birthday, was the hero at the second attempt after Gorka Iraizoz saved his shot.

Relive the action as it happened.

Enthralling title race shaping up?

Real Madrid were the fourth team to top La Liga this weekend. Barcelona went to the summit on Saturday thanks to their 3-2 injury-time win over Valencia.

Earlier on Sunday, Sevilla went top when they won 1-0 against Atletico Madrid, who had gone into the weekend as league leaders.

Only three points separate Real, who started the game in fifth place, and Atletico, who now occupy that spot.

Ronaldo out of sorts?

<!–

This chance in the first half saw Cristiano Ronaldo shoot straight at the goalkeeper when he could have picked out Karim Benzema or Gareth Bale

Ronaldo looked short of confidence with his finishing throughout the game, although he was not afraid to try.

He had 11 shots in the game, more than Athletic’s combined total of 10, but only two of those were on target.

The Portugal captain, who missed the start of the season through injury, has only scored two goals in six La Liga games this season with both coming in convincing victories.

His malaise was best summed up when Lucas Vazquez found him in space in injury time, with Athletic having taken risks in a bid to find an equaliser.

Ronaldo had plenty of time to pick his spot or go round Gorka Iraizoz, but instead he shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Live Text

Match ends, Real Madrid 2, Athletic Club 1.

Second Half ends, Real Madrid 2, Athletic Club 1.

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Gorka Iraizoz.

Attempt saved. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lucas Vázquez.

Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid).

Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Lucas Vázquez (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Markel Susaeta (Athletic Club).

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by Aymeric Laporte.

Álvaro Morata (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Eraso (Athletic Club).

Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mikel Rico (Athletic Club).

Substitution, Athletic Club. Muniain replaces Enric Saborit.

Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Club) is shown the yellow card.

Álvaro Morata (Real Madrid) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Álvaro Morata (Real Madrid).

Etxeita (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Iñaki Williams (Athletic Club) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Goal! Real Madrid 2, Athletic Club 1. Álvaro Morata (Real Madrid) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner.

Attempt saved. Álvaro Morata (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Gareth Bale with a cross.

Attempt missed. Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Corner, Real Madrid. Conceded by San José.

Attempt missed. Álvaro Morata (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Lucas Vázquez.

Substitution, Athletic Club. Markel Susaeta replaces Sabin.

Attempt missed. Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Toni Kroos.

Lucas Vázquez (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Iturraspe (Athletic Club).

Substitution, Athletic Club. Iturraspe replaces Raúl García.

Offside, Real Madrid. Marcelo tries a through ball, but Álvaro Morata is caught offside.

Substitution, Real Madrid. Álvaro Morata replaces Karim Benzema.

Foul by Karim Benzema (Real Madrid).

Etxeita (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Mateo Kovacic.

Attempt blocked. Mateo Kovacic (Real Madrid) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lucas Vázquez.

Attempt missed. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Karim Benzema.

Offside, Athletic Club. Raúl García tries a through ball, but Iñaki Williams is caught offside.

Offside, Real Madrid. Toni Kroos tries a through ball, but Karim Benzema is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Toni Kroos following a set piece situation.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37681714