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Madrid off to winning start at San Mamés

MATCH REPORT. 12/08/2023. Alberto Navarro. Photographer: Pedro Castillo (Bilbao)

Goals from Rodrygo and Bellingham secured Real Madrid's first LaLiga win of the season as they set themselves on course for victory after a superb first half.

Real Madrid kicked off the LaLiga campaign by picking up three points at San Mamés. The Whites set themselves on course for victory after a sublime first-half display, in which they scored twice. The visitors opened the scoring in the 28th minute when Rodrygo finished well from inside the area and the second came eight minutes later through Bellingham. The Englishman marked his debut with a goal straight off the training pitch when he got on the end of Alaba’s corner kick. The only negative aspect was the injury sustained by Militão, who had to be replaced in the 50th minute when he went down in pain clutching his left knee.
The first half was played at full tempo and each ball was fiercely contested by both sides, but neither Real Madrid nor Athletic Club were able to carve out clear chances. On the half-hour mark, Carvajal slid in to win the ball off the defender and find Rodrygo who clinically slotted the ball past Unai Simón to put the Whites ahead. Five minutes later, the madridistas almost doubled their lead, as Alaba‘s near-post header from a Rodrygo corner forced the home keeper into making a save.

Video.0-2: Madrid off to winning start at San Mamés

Bellingham marks debut with a goal
This was the best spell of the clash for Ancelotti’s men as they pushed Athletic back in search of more goals. On 35’, Vini Jr. almost made it three. The Brazilian superbly took a first-time round his marker, beat an onrushing defender, dummied in the face of another before firing in an effort that was well dealt with by Simón. Barely a minute later, Madrid doubled their lead after a well-worked set-piece. Alaba swung in a corner to the edge of the box and Bellingham struck a first-time volley into the ground that looped over the goalie and into the top corner.
Athletic then went down the other end on the attack, but Lunin had to be at his best to deny Gómez in a one-on-one. Not long into the second half Militão went down in pain clutching his left knee and had to be replaced by Rüdiger on 50’. The hosts pushed forward looking to reduce the deficit, but Madrid held firm in defence and almost added a third when Vini Jr. struck a low shot from inside the box that was parried by Unai Simón with 70 minutes on the clock and then substitute Modrić went close on 83’ after a fine team move.




The referee

Gil Manzano (Extremadura Committee), assisted by Nevado Rodríguez and Martínez Nicolás. Mallo Fernández was the fourth official, while Melero López (Andalusian Committee) was the video assistant referee.