January 23, (THEWILL) – Real Madrid secured a crucial win in La Liga, defeating Athletic Club 2-0 at San Mames.
This marks the team’s first league victory since December 30th and keeps Barcelona’s lead at the top of the table at just three points. The pressure was on for Real Madrid following Barcelona’s win earlier in the day, which temporarily widened the gap between the two teams to six points.
The match at San Mames was a tight battle, with few clear opportunities for either team. Athletic Club had 18 shots off target causing no trouble for Thibaut Courtois. Real Madrid were more efficient with their attempts and the opening goal came midway through the first half when Karim Benzema scored a stunning left-footed volley.
The goal seemed to give Real Madrid the edge with Athletic Club unable to mount a comeback. Los Blancos sealed the win with a late goal from substitute Toni Kroos.
Ancelotti’s squad had been struggling in La Liga and had been focused on the Supercopa de Espana and Cope del Rey. However, they were able to secure a win on the road in the Basque region to boost their morale going forward. It is exactly the tonic they need going into the Madrid derby on Thursday, the same day that Athletic Club visits Valencia.