Karim Benzema’s sixth goal in five games against Athletic Bilbao, along with Toni Kroos’ late strike, helped Real Madrid extend their La Liga undefeated streak against Los Leones to eight games with a 2-0 victory at Estadio San Mamés.
Athletic Bilbao’s three-match winless streak in La Liga, culminating by a 3-1 Basque derby loss to Real Sociedad last time out, has added to Los Leones’ new year worries.
But Bilbao saw a chance to take on a Real Madrid team that had lost two of their previous three away league matches, and the home side got off to a flying start in front of a raucous Estadio San Mamés.
Bilbao refused to accept defeat and sought for a late equalizer as an unmarked player. Substitute Kroos ended a fluid Madrid counter-attack with a low effort past Simón after Nico Williams pulled his shot wide from 10 yards and Iaki Williams blasted into the net from close range only for the score to be called out for offside.