Real Madrid extends its lead in La Liga by 2-1 win over A.Bilbao

Real Madrid claimed a vital victory in the title race as they overcame Athletic Bilbao 2-1

ESPN – Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of La Liga to five points, as they won 2-1 against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Karim Benzema scored the first goal of the game as Cristiano Ronaldo found space down the left and he crossed for the France striker to put it past goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

But, after Keylor Navas had made a wonderful save from Inaki Williams, the Spaniard powered home after a good knockdown from Raul Garcia.

However, Casemiro struck back within a few minutes as Ronaldo flicked the ball on at the near post from a set piece to slot home the winner.

Barcelona can close the gap again when they face Valencia on Sunday.

Eibar held Espanyol to a 1-1 draw at home as Jose Manuel Jurado cancelled out Kike’s first half effort.

The result keeps Eibar in eighth place, one point ahead of their opposition in ninth.

In Saturday’s later matches, Alaves beat Basque rivals Real Sociedad 1-0 at Mendizorroza.

Brazilian forward Deyverson made the breakthrough for the hosts just before half-time, tapping home at the far post following a break down the left by Theo Hernandez.

Alaves, who are set to play Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final, almost added a second just before the hour when Deyverson’s point-bank header was pushed onto the post by goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli.

Sociedad are chasing a place in the top six, but could not conjure an equaliser and finished the match with 10 men following a red card for Esteban Granero after he collected a second caution for diving in the penalty area.

Real Betis inflicted another defeat on bottom club Osasuna with a 2-0 win at Estadio Benito Villamarin.

Defender Rafa Navarro put the hosts in front after just four minutes when he raced into the right side of the penalty area.

Ruben Castro doubled the lead in the 28th minute when he sprinted clear and rounded the goalkeeper.

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