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Real Madrid triumph over Athletic Club thanks to Rodrygo double

Real Madrid took a crucial step towards their La Liga title defense with a convincing 2-0 victory over Athletic Club at the Santiago Bernabéu. This win extends their unbeaten home league run for the entire season.

With the championship chase heating up, a win against top-four hopefuls Athletic Club was essential for Los Blancos. While the sight of Real Madrid playing in their purple away kit instead of their iconic white was unusual, there was nothing surprising about Rodrygo’s early heroics.

The young Brazilian silenced the traveling Athletic fans with a stunning long-range strike after just eight minutes. This goal completely deflated the visitors, who struggled to create any real chances throughout the first half. Real Madrid, on the other hand, played with a swagger, almost like they were using the game as a warm-up for their upcoming Champions League clash against Manchester City.

READ MORE: Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao: Official Lineups

Athletic Club manager Ernesto Valverde, who had previously enjoyed a four-game unbeaten run at the Bernabéu, must have been frustrated by his team’s lack of attacking threat. The absence of star winger Nico Williams didn’t help matters, and their defense was exposed when Brahim Díaz rattled the post with a shot. However, Athletic did show some fight late in the first half when Iñaki Williams forced a good save from Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin with a well-struck volley.

The second half saw veteran midfielder Toni Kroos control the tempo for Real Madrid. His experience and skill in the middle of the park ensured his team remained in control. It was Kroos who initiated the move that led to Rodrygo’s second goal. The Brazilian winger received the ball on the left, used a clever feint to beat his defender, and then calmly slotted the ball home to seal the victory.

READ MORE: Real Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao: Probable Lineups

This win puts Real Madrid in a strong position in the title race. They also received a welcome boost with the return of defender Éder Militão, who played his first game in 232 days. Athletic Club, meanwhile, will be disappointed with their performance and will need to regroup quickly for their upcoming matches.

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