Cristiano Ronaldo’s 87th-minute equaliser has helped Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao in Wednesday night’s La Liga encounter at the Bernabeu.
Both sides threatened from the off, but the Basques enjoyed the first concrete chance of the night as Ander Iturraspe beat the offside trap on seven minutes, going on to fire low and drawing a save from Keylor Navas.
Two minutes later, Dani Carvajal whipped a cross into the Bilbao box, Ronaldo connecting to send a header crashing against the woodwork with Kepa Arrizabalaga scrambling.
The opener went the way of the visitors, Inaki Williams connecting with Inigo Cordoba’s pass to loft the ball over the onrushing Navas on 14 minutes.
Real set about trying to force an equaliser against Bilbao but Kepa was in inspired form, repelling a multitude of efforts coming his way, with a 43rd-minute stop from a powerful Marco Asensio drive the pick of the bunch.
Jose Angel Ziganda’s charges thought that they had doubled their lead on the hour when Raul Garcia clattered the crossbar after Williams missed his kick from close range and Cordoba had a shot blocked by Carvajal.
However, Real’s talisman popped up once again to save his team’s blushes, Ronaldo diverting Luka Modric’s speculative drive into the bottom corner on 87 minutes to spare Los Blancos from a sixth league loss of the season.