First Division - Day 7

Real Madrid 2 - Athletic Bilbao 0

Real Madrid: Casillas; Michel Salgado, Hierro, Karanka (Savio 80'), Raúl Bravo (Pavón 70'); Geremi (Valdo 44'), Celades, Guti, Solari; Morientes, Raúl. 4-4-2.
Bilbao: Lafuente; Larrainzar, Lacruz, Carlos García, Larrazábal; Oscar Vales (Felipe 59'), Urrutia; Joseba Etxeberria, Julen Guerrero (Alkiza 46'), Javi González; Urzaiz (Ezquerro 46'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Madrid:, Raúl Bravo, Celades, Guti, Morientes for Iván Campo, Makelele, Zidane, Munitis / Bilbao: No change.

1-0. 47. Raúl. Headed down past keeper after cross in from Michel Salgado.
2-0. 72. Solari. Shot from left of area which Lafuente let through his hands.

Real Madrid put aside their crisis for the time being with a 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao. Missing several players on international duty, including Roberto Carlos, Figo and Zidane, and with Iván Campo suffering a depression after being criticised for Real Madrid's midweek defeat at Las Palmas, Del Bosque drafted youngster Bravo into the starting line up at left back, with three more B team players on the bench. Jupp Heynckes was returning to the Bernabeu stadium for the first time since winning the European Champions League with Real Madrid, and he named an unchanged side once again looking for their fourth away victory in a row.

There is something daunting about the Madrid stadium for the Bilbao players, and they were not the side that their fans have seen recently. They allowed their opponents to take over the game, and Casillas did not have to make a save until just before half time from Carlos García. Morientes headed Madrid's best chance wide though, and shortly before half time Del Bosque had to replace the injured Geremi with another of his B team players Valdo. The youngster made the difference, and immediately after the interval he left the ball for Salgado to swing in a cross for an unmarked Raúl to head past Lafuente.

Hierro almost caught Lafuente out a few minutes later, his shot from just over the halfway line bouncing off the top of the crossbar, and with 20 minutes to go Del Bosque brought on another youngster, central defender Pavón. A minute later Valdo found Solari with a pass across the field, and the ex Atlético player pushed the ball forward and unleashed a shot from outside of the area which went straight through Lafuente's hands and in to the net. The youngsters had contributed to end Madrid's bad run and had given their opponents their first away defeat of the season.