Big game at The Cathedral that could potentially decide La Liga after Madrid´s suffered win against Getafe. Zidane´s team knew that a victory today would mean a huge step towards the title. On the other side, Athletic de Bilbao, which also won on their last match against Valencia, are going through a momentum that they wanted to keep on in order to stay on the battle for European spots. Bring it on.
Athletic´s coach Garitano came out with his usual lineup, while Zidane made several changes: Militao started on defense, Marcelo on the left back, Modric and Valverde accompanied Casemiro in the middle, and Rodrygo and Asensio completed the attack along with Benzema. Madrid began installed on the opponent´s halfa and had the first chance through a free kick by Asensio that keeper Unai Simón saved. Zidane´s team was doing better in the first minutes, which forced Athletic to entrust to direct plays in order to get rid off Madrid´s high pressure.
The game got even little by little as the Lions began to approach Courtois´goal through long throws and crosses from the wings, which is the way forward Raúl García warned with the first opportunity through a header that the Belgian keeper cleared out. The match turned into a exchange of blows with no domain by any team. Benzema was very close to break the equality through a header right before halftime, but Athletic survived to it. 0-0 at the break with the excitement to know that anything could happen.
The game stayed the same way, with constant attempts on both sides that no one finished. They were both missing on the last touch, but Madrid started to lock down Athletic. Carvajal and Marcelo did not stop making runs on their wings, while Modric and Muniain built the plays in the middle. This was going to be decided by a detail.
The detail consisted once again on a penalty kick for Madrid that Ramos did not miss. Midfielder Dani García stepped on Marcelo inside the box and the referee made the call after checking it on the VAR. A very similar play took place a couple minutes later, with Ramos stepping on Raúl García also inside the box, but the referee did not check it this time. 0-1, Madrid take a huge step towards a title that, apart from the multiple controversial plays, will be deserved due to their solid defense and, most of all, Barça´s disaster.