Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of La Liga to five points

Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of La Liga to five points with a narrow win against Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames Stadium.

Second-placed Barcelona, who have played the same amount of games as Real, host Valencia on Sunday.

Real, who are chasing their first league title since 2011-12, went ahead through Karim Benzema on 25 minutes.

Veteran striker Aritz Aduriz equalised on 65 minutes, before Casemiro scored the winner three minutes later.

Athletic went into the game with the second-best home record in the league behind Real, and boasting just one defeat all season at the San Mames, which came against Barcelona in August.

Real weathered some early pressure to take the lead as Cristiano Ronaldo squared for Benzema and the France striker placed a right-footed shot past goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The first half was a heated affair with Casemiro, Dani Carvajal and Aduriz all booked.

Athletic almost equalised immediately after the break, as Aduriz sent a header towards the far post and Keylor Navas and Sergio Ramos got in each other’s way, before the defender managed to clear.

The impressive Inaki Williams was Athletic’s best attacker and gave Marcelo a torrid time on the left. The 22-year-old, who has been linked with Liverpool, forced Navas into a good save from point-blank range on 64 minutes.

Two minutes later, the equaliser came as Raul Garcia headed a cross across the box to 36-year-old Spanish international Aduriz who placed his header past Navas from close range.

The lead did not last though, as Real quickly responded from a corner.

Toni Kroos’ corner was flicked on by Ronaldo to Casemiro at the far post, who controlled with his chest and then shot from close range to score.

Wales forward Gareth Bale, who returned after a two-match ban, was subdued, with a powerful left-footed shot on 27 minutes his best effort in the match.

Las Palmas coach to leave

Elsewhere, Las Palmas coach Quique Setien announced on Saturday he will leave the Canary Island club at the end of the season.

Setien, 58, was hired in October 2015 and has led Las Palmas to safety in each of the past two seasons.

The announcement came a day after they beat Villarreal 1-0, thanks to a Kevin-Prince Boateng strike.

BBC

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