Karim Benzema bagged a second half brace for Real Madrid as Zinedine Zidane’s side continued their resurgence with a 3-1 win over 10-man Athletic Club.
Despite this being Real Madrid’s fourth match in 10 days, Zidane made just one change to the team that beat Atletico Madrid in Saturday’s derby, with Fede Valverde coming in for the suspended Casemiro.
The visitors started brightly, but were reduced to 10 men after only 13 minutes when Raul Garcia was shown a second yellow card for a foolish tackle on Toni Kroos on the edge of the opposition box.
Athletic Club did well to keep things tight at the back until stoppage time at the end of the first half when Toni Kroos lashed home a finish from the edge of the box to give Real Madrid the advantage.
Ander Capa restored parity for 10-man Athletic Club seven minutes into the second half, scuffing a shot into the back of the Real Madrid net after Thibaut Courtois’ initial save from close range.
Benzema, however, gave Real Madrid the lead again 16 minutes from the end, getting on the end of a Dani Carvajal cross into the box to power a header home, marking his third goal in his last three appearances.
Courtois made a huge save to deny Mikel Vesga in stoppage time before Real Madrid broke up the pitch on the counter attack to secure the points with a third goal as Benzema converted with a reverse finish.