Zinedine Zidane insists Real Madrid face more challenges after Atheltic Bilbao victory

Real Madrid vice-captain Marcelo hailed his teammate Casemiro as "one of the best midfielders in the world" after his fellow Brazilian hit a crucial victor in Saturday afternoon's 2-1 La Liga win at Athletic Bilbao.

The result puts Madrid on 65 points, five ahead of Barcelona who host Valencia on Sunday night. We advise that all users switch to using the new Disqus comment system as soon as possible to ensure a smooth transition.

"The only game they lost at home was against Barcelona".

It was a positive start from Los Leones, who tested Madrid keeper Keylor Navas with some high balls into the penalty area.

The Basques made a more energetic start and almost took the lead when Raul Garcia acrobatically volleyed at goal, catching Keylor Navas off guard although the goalkeeper reacted well to tip the shot away to safety. The Portugal forward, however, was flagged offside after tapping in a scuffed cross from defender Dani Carvajal.

And questioned whether or not he had similar qualities to Bale, he added: 'He's unbelievable in the air - the way he heads the ball is spectacular and he has a really powerful left foot shot.

It was a warning sign Athletic failed to heed, though, with the visitors' attacking duo combining in ruthless fashion to give them the lead after 25 minutes.

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It was nearly quickly 2-0 as Bale stung the palms of Bilbao keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Real Madrid have also won four matches out of last five play.

Into the second-half and Bilbao pushed hard to try and find an equalising goal and they nearly got it when Inaki Williams' goal-bound effort was superbly saved by the right-hand of Navas.

However, just three minutes later and Real were back in front, as Ronaldo flicked Toni Kroos' corner on at the near post, and there was Casemiro to convert from inside the six-yard box.

Marcelo hacked over from close range and Navas blocked Williams' angled effort as Real closed out victory to remain in control at the top of LaLiga.

"We know that Athletic don't drop off until the final whistle and they made life hard for us".

"We worked this week, we had a lot of time to prepare for the game and it went well for us". It was extremely important to win and keep on track. We have 11 games left and we are the leaders, but it doesn't mean anything right now.