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Spanish La Liga

Wasteful Real Fail To Close Gap On Barca

Spanish La Liga

Result: Athletic Bilbao 0-0 Real Madrid

Venue: San Mamés Barria

Date: 02 December 2017

Real Madrid wasted a glorious chance to heap pressure on FC Barcelona as they drew 0-0 with Athletic Bilbao at San Mamés in a late Saturday game which saw Sergio Ramos sent off.

In the eighth minute, Karim Benzema went within inches of opening the scoring. Isco picked him out with a cross from the left and the Frenchman controlled the ball with his chest before rattling the post.

There were chances at both ends in the first half, but neither side went quite that close again before the break.

The hosts' best opportunity of the opening 45 minutes came in the 29th, when Aritz Aduriz was just unable to get a clean enough touch to steer the ball home after Raúl García fired it across goal.

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo had a disappointing half, twice missing the target and once shooting straight down Kepa's throat.

Athletic got off to a bright start after the break, with Aduriz forcing a good save from Keylor Navas off his strike from just outside the box.

However, the hosts were lucky to survive a Los Blancos attack 11 minutes into the second half.

Etxeita fouled Luka Modrić as he got the ball away to Ronaldo. Instead of playing an advantage that could have afforded the Portuguese a goalscoring chance, referee Mateu Lahoz stopped play to award a yellow card.

Los Blancos piled on the pressure as the half progressed. In the 72nd minute, Ronaldo came agonisingly close to opening the scoring with a sweetly-struck shot that went just wide of the target.

However, they lost Ramos in the 86th minute when he was given his second yellow card for catching Aduriz in the air with his arm.

The wind was knocked out of Real's sails and they were forced to settle for a point. As a result, they remain eight points behind Barcelona despite the leaders' 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo.

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