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Dublin: 4°C Friday 7 May 2021
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Ronaldo double leads 10-man Real Madrid to victory over gutsy Athletic Bilbao

Zinedine Zidane’s side were 4-2 winners at the Santiago Bernabeu with James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos also on target.

Spain Soccer La Liga Just the two goals for Ronaldo today. Source: AP/Press Association Images

CRISTIANO RONALDO SCORED twice as Real Madrid survived an awkward encounter and Raphael Varane’s late dismissal to see off Athletic Bilbao 4-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Ronaldo set the hosts on their way to a fifth La Liga win of Zinedine Zidane’s reign with a superb early finish, but Athletic made life difficult for Madrid by levelling in the 10th minute.

Javier Eraso’s first league goal came about following a Varane error and the visitors - winless at the Bernabeu since 2005, a game in which Zidane came on as a substitute for Madrid - came close to a surprise lead when Aritz Aduritz rattled the crossbar midway through the first half.

However, James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos scored inside the final eight minutes of the first period to give Madrid breathing space.

 

Varane was dismissed harshly for a second booking after apparently catching Aduriz with an elbow late on, before Ronaldo extended the hosts’ lead with his 21st league goal of the campaign three minutes from time.

Substitute Gorka Elustondo’s glancing header in stoppage time was too late to spark late drama as Zidane’s side put the pressure on Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, who both play this evening.

Madrid will now await the response from both, ahead of their Champions League last-16 first leg with Roma on Wednesday.

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