MX23RW : Friday, April 16 00:07:45| >> :60:2881:2881:
Oct 5, 2014 at 8pm UK at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Real Madrid
Athletic Bilbao
Ronaldo (2', 55', 88'), Benzema (41', 69')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Match Analysis: Real Madrid 5-0 Athletic Bilbao

Sports Mole looks back at Real Madrid's emphatic 5-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao this evening.

Real Madrid comprehensively defeated Athletic Bilbao 5-0 at the Bernabeu this evening to move into the top four of La Liga.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored early on for the hosts to set the tone, going on to add two more goals in the second half to bag his 22nd hat-trick for Los Bloncos.

Karim Benzema added a brace of his own to leave an out-of-sorts Bilbao side in the bottom three of the division following a poor start to the new season.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at how the 90 minutes of action unfolded in the Spanish capital.

Match statistics

Real Madrid
Shots: 19
On target: 14
Possession: 60%
Corners: 8
Fouls: 9

Athletic Bilbao
Shots: 5
On target: 5
Possession: 40%
Corners: 7
Fouls: 10

Was the result fair?

You feared the worst for Bilbao when Ronaldo headed the hosts in front with just 120 seconds on the clock, although in truth they stood firm largely throughout the remainder of the first half to keep themselves in the contest. Benzema's header shortly before half time all-but ended Les Leones' hopes of getting anything out of the game, though, as Madrid turned on the style in the second 45 minutes.

Bilbao enjoyed one spell of possession in particular, although it was difficult to see where a goal would come from. They have now scored just four goals in their opening seven games this season, failing to win in their last six games. Defeat was always likely tonight, but the manner in which they folded was hugely worrying for supporters, and with a two-week international break now upon us, manager Ernesto Valverde remains in a perilous position. Madrid on the other hand have hit a rich vein of form, and if not for Gorka Iraizoz then they could have doubled their tally this evening.

Real Madrid's performance

Just a few short weeks ago, Madrid suffered defeat at the hands of city rivals Atletico to leave many question marks hanging over manager Carlo Ancelotti's head. Six games have passed since then, with Los Blancos winning each and scoring 30 goals in the process to climb back into the division's top four. Summer signing James Rodriguez, the undisputed star of the this summer's World Cup, has slotted in seamlessly in the past month, while Gareth Bale continues to shine in the white of Madrid.

Yet the star of the show remains the same; Cristiano Ronaldo setting yet more records this evening as he bagged his 26th hat-trick for the La Liga giants, putting him alongside fellow club legend Alfredo di Stefano in the all-time standings for that particular achievement. The 4-3-3 formation gets the best out of the aforementioned trio, while Benzema profits from the seemingly constant attacking moves. On this form, it is difficult to see any team in the world stopping Los Blancos right now.

Athletic Bilbao's performance

There is no great shame in losing to an in-form Real Madrid side, even if it is your 10th-successive league defeat at the Bernabeu. What will upset supporters of the Basque outfit most, however, is their inability to create any chances whatsoever across 90 minutes of football yet again. Following a memorable season last time out, in which Bilbao finished in the top four to secure Champions League football, they have failed to push on to achieve further success.

Camped in the bottom three of the La Liga table, off the bottom on goal difference alone as we enter the international break, Valverde's charges face the real possibility of being out of Europe and indeed out of the running for a top-four finish once more by the turn of the year. They were not helped this evening by the loss of top scorer Aritz Aduriz, but on this display, and very much every performance in the last month or so in fact, Bilbao look devoid of ideas and in need of a change manager before it is too late.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Cristiano Ronaldo: Who else? He just continues to break the goalscoring records game by game in the Spanish capital. He now has 13 goals in six games so far this season in the league, and he could have had more tonight had he not unselfishly played in Benzema in the second half.

Biggest gaffe

Valverde surely drilled it into his players that they simply had to remain disciplined at the back early on, and not give Madrid the slightest piece of space to breath. Any plan of sitting back and soaking up the pressure was soon put to bed thanks to Ronaldo's early goal, which pretty much ended the game as a true contest.

Referee performance

Called it right when he refused to give James a penalty in the second half after the Colombian went tumbling over in the box, although he could have perhaps shown more leniency in the early stages when it came to handing out yellow cards.

What next?

Real Madrid: Following the international break the Champions League holders travel to face Levante, hoping to continue their surge up the table.

Athletic Bilbao: It is difficult to tell whether or not this two-week hiatus has come at the right time for Athletic, although they now have a fortnight to prepare for their next match against Celta Vigo.

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Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo heads to score during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid vs Athletic Club Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on October 5, 2014
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Live Commentary: Real Madrid 5-0 Athletic Bilbao - as it happened

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