Real Madrid visited the San Mames in search for the opportunity to move up to second place after Barcelona lost 3-2 to Valencia, but weren’t able to come out with the full points on the night

Starting Lineup:

Carlo Ancelotti decided to go with a pretty offensive starting lineup in search for the three points while giving Jese his first La Liga start of the season. The starting lineup consisted of:

Diego Lopez, Daniel Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos [C], Marcelo, Xabi Alonso, Luka Modric, Jese Rodriguez, Angel Di Maria, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Karim Benzema

Scorers:

Athletic Bilbao –
Ibai Gomez (73′)

Real Madrid –
Jese Rodriguez (65′)

Xabi Alonso:

We are all used to Xabi Alonso being the calm player on the pitch is used to dictating the play even when everything seems extremely chaotic but it was very different against Athletic Bilbao. During the first half, the Spanish midfielder seemed to be getting very frustrated and was jumping into hard tackles. He was the only player to receive a yellow card during the first half after a tackle from behind against Herrera. During the second half though, he calmed down a little bit as Real Madrid seemed to be gaining some control.

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Jese Rodriguez:

Jese Rodriguez earned his first start of this La Liga season and he did not disappoint. The young Spanish player was all over the place as he used his speed and determination to show that he deserves the starting spot in the team. He was also able to get himself on the scoresheet on the 65th minute after a very unselfish pass from Cristiano Ronaldo to open the scoring. Jese has a lot of potential ahead of him and it looks like Carlo Ancelotti is finally realizing it as he is giving him more and more opportunities on the pitch.

Karim Benzema:

I know that I keep criticizing Karim Benzema but yesterday I have simply had enough of it. During the first half, he literally did nothing productive. His passes were wrong, he was slow, he couldn’t dribble, and every single time he got the ball, it ended up with an Athletic Bilbao player. The only thing going for the French attacker is that he can shoot (not as good as many other forwards, of course). Things need to change and I really don’t understand how many people can defend him after all these poor performances. Did he cost us the game? No but a good center forward could have possible won the game for us.

Cristiano Ronaldo:

Cristiano Ronaldo had quite a poor first half but stepped up to the occasion during the second half as he made his trademark runs and had his fair share of opportunities before a great assist to Jese Rodriguez for the opening goal. Of course, all of that went down the drain after he was sent off when he had a fight with Carlo Gurpegui towards the end of the game. I personally think that it wasn’t supposed to be a straight red card but these things happen and Gurpegui left none of his acting expertise aside as he kept screaming and falling to the floor to guarantee that Ronaldo would get the red. In the end though, it was of course wrong of the Portuguese to put himself in that situation as his sending off pretty much made us lose any opportunity of scoring a second goal.

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My Personal Player Ratings:

Diego Lopez – 8/10
Daniel Carvajal – 8/10
Pepe – 8.5/10
Sergio Ramos – 8/10
Marcelo – 7.5/10
Xabi Alonso – 6.5/10
Luka Modric – 7.5/10
Jese Rodriguez – 9/10
Angel Di Maria – 7/10
Cristiano Ronaldo – 6/10
Karim Benzema – 4/10

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