Athletico Bilbao came from a goal down to earn a point in their 1-1 draw against Real Madrid at the San Mames on Sunday, with Cristiano Ronaldo being shown a straight red late in the game.
With Real not being able to capitalise on Barcelona’s shock loss to Valencia on Saturday, the team from Madrid remain in third place just behind Barca on goal difference and three points behind neighbours Atletico Madrid who top the table.
Real Madrid came into the game knowing that a win would move them above Barcelona and into second spot on the log, just a point behind current log-leaders and neighbours Atletico.
Cristiano Ronaldo produced the first effort at goal but the Ballon d’Or winner’s shot swerved just wide of the upright in the second minute.
Argentine Angel Di Maria then came close two minutes later as he let fly after being teed up by striker Karim Benzema but his effort went just wide as well.
The best chance of the half though fell to the home side when Aduriz danced his way into the Madrid box but his curling effort went just wide of the target with 20 minutes played.
Bilbao then had another glorious chance when De Marcos’s cross found Muniain at the back post, but his control let him down as he was about to pull the trigger.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men started off the second-half much stronger than their hosts and thought they broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute, but Ronaldo was adjudged to have been fractionally offside.
Benzema had his first shot at goal in the 55th minute after latching onto a Ronaldo free-kick that was blocked, but the French international’s shot was pushed out for a corner by Iraizoz.
Real then finally broke the deadlock after a much better second-half performance when Ronaldo broke the Bilbao offside trap and squared the ball for 20-year old Jese to slide home and make it 1-0 at the San Mames in the 65th minute.
Substitute Ibai Gomez then levelled matters for the home side after just being brought off the substitute’s bench and smashed an unstoppable volley into the bottom corner in the 73rd minute.
Things went from bad to worse for Real when Ronaldo was shown a straight red card after an altercation with Gurpegi in the Bilbao box.
Gomez almost snatched a late winner for the hosts but his half-volley from outside the box was tipped over the crossbar acrobatically by Lopez.
The game remained all square as Real missed the chance to move above Barcelona on the table because of the Catalan club’s superior goal difference.