Real Madrid 1-1 Athletic Bilbao: Player ratings as Benzema gets farewell goal as Blancos cling onto second


Karim Benzema marked his Real Madrid farewell with a goal in a 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao as Los Blancos held on to second place on the final day of the LaLiga season.

The experienced striker, who is expected to head to Saudi Arabia after announcing his departure on Sunday, converted a penalty as Madrid fought back to earn a point at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Athletic were denied an early opener when Thibaut Courtois kept out Mikel Vesga’s free-kick, but Ernesto Valverde’s visitors struck first after half-time through Oihana Sanceto.

However, Benzema’s equalizer cost them a place in the Europa Conference League, with Carlo Ancelotti’s men in second place after Atleti drew 2-2 with Villarreal.

In the 10th minute, Toni Kroos had a chance to extend his lead when Inaki Williams’ header was handled by Toni Kroos in the 10th minute, but Courtois dived to his right and kicked Vesga after taming him down.

Unai Simon then tipped over Vinicius Junior’s drive as Madrid’s threat grew and the Athletic goalkeeper stayed alert to prevent Rodrygo getting past him as an open first half ended goalless.

Athletic saw another fine start rewarded in the second half, though, as Ander Herrera dispossessed Dani Ceballos to set up Sanceto, who pushed his shot past Courtois at the second attempt.

However, Madrid conceded a penalty of their own after Yuri Berchiche caught Eder Militao in the face and Benzema made no mistake from the spot before being substituted to a standing ovation.

However, Los Blancos were unable to find a winner without their talisman, Rodrygo missing a glaring chance, but their point still remained in second place until the end of the season.

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