April 09, 2011

Athletic Bilbao 0 - 3 Real Madrid (Highlights Video)

Real Madrid played as if their lives depended on it on Saturday and proved once again that this squad’s pride has no limits. With a lineup chalk full of changes, Mourinho made it clear that there is plenty of depth to compete for all three titles. The Whites took San Mames by storm and put on a tactical schooling en route to the 0-3 win.

Higuain was the front man in attack and was backed by Kaka and Granero in the midfield, where Pepe also took position in support. The lineup stunned Caparros, who looked on with a blank stare as Bilbao had no answer for Real in the first half. Di Maria was tripped up in the box by Iraizoz on 12’ and Kaka buried the spot kick to give the Whites the lead. The Madridista duo wreaked havoc on an uncommonly fragile Athletic defense. Higuian could have put the game away before the half but was stymied by the keeper.

Athletic pressured after the restart, but the Madridista defense stood strong and kept Llorente in check while the offense looked to beat the back line with Di Maria’s speed and Kaka’s talent. The Argentine provoked another penalty on 53’ and the Brazilian successful fired home the ensuing spot kick.

Cristiano Ronaldo stepped in for Higuian and eight minutes after taking the field received a long ball along the wing, took it into the box, feinted past San Joseand curled in low drive to the far post. San Mames fell silent as Ronaldo celebrated his 29th league goal of the season.

It was smooth sailing from there on out as Real slowed the tempo to save energy for a crucial week in store. Athletic continued trying their luck but had no chance of beating Casillas, who was barely tested all afternoon. All sights are now turned to Wednesday’s Champions League match at Tottenham Hotspur and Saturday’s Clasico.

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