Madrid beats Athletic Bilbao, increases Spanish league lead

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

MADRID (AP) — Karim Benzema scored a first-half winner as Real Madrid edged Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to extend its winning streak and increase its lead in the Spanish league on Wednesday.

Benzema netted his league-leading 12th goal in the 40th minute to give Madrid a seventh consecutive victory in all competitions. Its unbeaten streak is at 10 matches.

“We played well in the first half but they improved in the second and it was tough in the final 15 minutes,” Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said.

Madrid opened a seven-point lead over both Atlético Madrid and Real Sociedad. It has 36 points from 15 matches. Atlético has a game in hand compared to its city rival.

The game had been postponed from the ninth round.

Benzema found the net from close range after Athletic goalkeeper Unai Simon partially saved a shot by Marco Asensio.

It was Benzema's eighth goal in his last six matches with club and country.

Athletic, sitting in eighth place with 20 points from 15 matches, hasn't won in six straight league matches.

“We have been playing well but can't come up with the victories,” Athletic midfielder Dani García said. “We have to keep working hard to change this dynamic.”

Athletic next visits Getafe, while Madrid plays at Sociedad.

COPA DEL REY

First-division clubs Sociedad, Mallorca, Espanyol, Sevilla and Real Betis all won their Copa del Rey matches against lower-division clubs to advance to the next round.

Sevilla struggled the most, needing a goal by Lucas Ocampos in the second half of extra time to defeat fourth-division club Córdoba 1-0 in a match between southern Spanish clubs.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

___

Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni

Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting