Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao: Final score 3-1, Isco and Madrid roll as Athletic fail their first test of the season

Denis Doyle

Real Madrid had little trouble dispatching Athletic Bilbao and reminding Ernesto Valverde that he still has plenty of work ahead of him this season.

Real Madrid shrugged off Athletic Bilbao thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo's first goal of the season and a splendid brace by new signing Isco.

More from our team blogsReal Madrid blog Managing Madrid

It's a tough defeat for Ernestro Valverde but likely a fair assessment of his team's progress early in the season. Their first two wins were over likely relegation battlers but beating the teams you should is still a positive.

Isco began the scoring in the 26th minute. Karim Benzema hit a ball over the Athletic defense, taking advantage of some bad positioning from Andoni Iraola and found Isco free and unmarked. Isco had no trouble controlling the pass and blasting a shot past Iago Herrerin to make it 1-0.

Seconds before the halftime whistle Madrid doubled their lead when Ronaldo directed Angel Di Maria's cross into the opposite corner with a well placed header.

Isco's second goal came in the 72nd minute as he volleyed a Benzema pass into the top corner of the Athletic net. The shot got an assist of its own deflecting slightly off an Atheltic defender and helping to further complicate Herrerin's attempts to keep it out.

Athletic scored a consolation goal in the 79th minute thanks to Ibai but it was far too little, too late from an Athletic attack that never really seemed to have a legitimate plan to break down Madrid.

The biggest talking point coming from the match that will likely linger all through the final day on the transfer window was Mesut Özil's demotion to the bench. The German midfielder was less than pleased with being substituted during Madrid's win over Granada last Monday and was left on the bench by Carlo Ancelotti.

No doubt the paper will be ripe with rumors about Özil wanting to make a move on Monday. Iker Casillas rumors could be flying as well with the goalkeeper once again left on the bench in favor for Diego López.

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