Real Madrid win in Bilbao to maintain slim title hopes

13:40, April 10, 2011      

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Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (L) shoots to scores against Athletic Bilbao during their Spanish First Division soccer match at the San Mames stadium in Bilbao April 9, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Kaka scored two penalties as Real Madrid won 3-0 away to Athletic Club Bilbao in the Spanish BBVA Primera Liga on Saturday night.

The win means that Madrid still have a slight chance of overtaking FC Barcelona at the top of the league table and was rewarded for a solid defensive display against a home side that placed too much emphasis on physical effort and forgot to play enough constructive football.

Madrid coach Jose Mourinho revolutionized his starting 11 ahead of next week's Champions League trip to play Tottenham.

Kaka and Gonzalo Higuain came into the starting 11, while players such as Xabi Alonso, Cristiano Ronaldo were rested along with Ricardo Carvalho.

Athletic meanwhile had their strongest starting 11 available with Fernando Llorente and Gaizka Toquero leading the attack.

As expected in a game between Athletic and Madrid, things kicked off at a fast pace and Angel Di Maria fired wide from the edge of the Athletic penalty area.

Madrid took the lead from the penalty spot after 13 minutes. Athletic keeper Gorka Iraizoz rashly brought down Di Maria and Kaka sent him the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Gonzalo Higuain could have doubled Madrid's lead, but Gorka made a good save from his drive, while Di Maria saw an attempted chip drift wide.

The home side came to life in the closing minutes of the half, Carlos Gurpegui saw a shot slip wide from the edge of the penalty area, before Iker Casillas tipped a Toquero header over the bar.

Kaka scored his second penalty of the game after 53 minutes. Di Maria was adjudged to have been fouled by Xabi Castillo by referee Clos Gomez although the contact was minimal and the Brazilian again fooled Gorka.

At the other end Toquero rifled a shot wide and Llorente headed wide a cross from his partner in attack.

Ronaldo came on as a substitute and added Madrid's third goal of the night after cutting in and scoring with his right foot. That goal killed off any chance Athletic had of getting back into the match and keeps alive Madrid's slim hopes of winning the title.

Source: Xinhua
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