It was a cagey first half, Madrid had more attacking intent but lacked the killer touch in front of Iraizoz’s goal. Benzema and Ronaldo both looked out of sorts. Gareth Bale was missing again, despite Ancelotti having indicated that he should be fit for the match.
Bilbao seemed determined to hang on to their proud home record. They are yet to lose in the league at their new San Mames home. The match was becoming increasingly tetchy. Madrid knew that a win would take them into second above Barcelona.
Jese Rodriguez opened the scoring on 65 minutes, with a cute finish from a Ronaldo cross. It was his full league debut for Los Blancos and he continues to impress.
Athletic threw on Ibai after 73 minutes, and what an impact he had. Seconds after his introduction, an Athletic corner found its way to him on the edge of the area. He rifled an unstoppable shot past Diego Lopez to level the score. A fantastic goal, and one that he had chances to add to later in the match.
Two minutes later, the match was turned on its head. Ronaldo appealed for a penalty. An exasperated Iturraspe pushed Ronaldo in the chest. Ronaldo responded by wiping his hand across his face. Iturraspe, to his discredit, went down like he’d been shot and a melee ensued. After calm was restored a bemused Ronaldo was shown the seventh red card of his career. He can count himself extremely unlucky, but with suspension looming Ancelotti will now need Bale back as soon as possible.
Bilbao became much more attacking after the sending off, but Madrid held on to go level on points with Barca and three behind Atletico. This title race changes week by week.