Isco came off the bench to rescue a point for Real Madrid as they drew 1-1 with Athletic Club in La Liga on Saturday.
- Athletic Club 1 Real Madrid 1
- Muniain on target on 32′
- Isco levels on 63′
Real created numerous chances but could not score, until Isco took his first opportunity, but it wasn’t enough as Bilbao were on the scoresheet first through Iker Muniain.
It took just two minutes for Real to create their first chance, but Luka Modric’s shot only deflected out for a corner after Asensio had flicked a Gareth Ball ball into the Croatian’s path.
Marcelo was wide with an ambitious 30 yard effort while Bale was crowded out on the left as he looked to create a scoring opportunity for Karim Benzema.
Bilbao’s time on the ball was limited and they looked to attack quickly on the break but Sergio Ramos was equal a ball over the top intended for Inaki Williams.
The same player then fired just wide as the home side tried to wrestle back this tie.
Susaeta was next with a half chance for Bilbao that had Thibaut Courtois scrambling as Benzema fired over at the other end.
Courtois kept out a full-back Yuri Berchiche ahead of an important 30th minute save from Unai Simon from Asensio that was headed to the top corner of the net – as almost immediately, Bilbao stole a lead.
Susaeta did well to dribble into the Madrid box and fire across the face of goal, with the ball bundled over the line by Williams and then Iker Muniain, who got the last touch.
Dani Garcia thought he had a second for the home side as he connected to a 36th minute free-kick but he was offside as he slotted the ball past Courtois.
With the first-half winding down, Simon did brilliantly to get down to turn away a goal-bound shot from Modric.
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) September 15, 2018
Trailing by a goal at the break, Julen Lopetegui replaced Dani Ceballos for Casemiro to allow to push forward, but it was Bilbao with the first second-half chance, as Williams blasted just wide from the edge of the area.
Bale then fired over from a Benzema knockdown, ahead of an enforced substitution that saw the injured Muniain replaced by Ander Capa.
Bale’s frustrating night of near-misses continued from a 59th minute free-kick that was saved by Simon, who then did well to deny Ramos on the rebound.
The Welshman was no closer a few minutes later – but second-half substitute Isco, only a minute earlier on for Modric, did find the target, to draw Real level, with 63 minutes on the clock.
Bale combined well with Toni Kroos to set up Isco, who effortlessly headed home Bale’s delivery from close range.
Sensing more goals to come, Real upped the tempo but Asensio couldn’t beat a spread Simon having been played in on goal, while Benzema skied the rebound.
Williams was similarly off target at the other end with the match clock ticking away, leaving the away side to become increasingly nervous.
Ramos couldn’t effect the result from a 73rd minute free-kick, and try as they might, it just wouldn’t fall to Real, who as a result of this loss, dropped points for the first time this season.
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) September 15, 2018