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Rediff.com  » Sports » Isco stars, Ronaldo on par with Raul as Real seal 3-1 win against Bilbao

Isco stars, Ronaldo on par with Raul as Real seal 3-1 win against Bilbao

September 01, 2013 19:21 IST

Isco stars, Ronaldo on par with Raul as Real seal 3-1 win against Bilbao

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In-form playmaker Isco struck twice and Cristiano Ronaldo netted his first goal of the campaign to give Luka Modric-inspired Real Madrid a 3-1 home win over Athletic Bilbao in La Liga on Sunday.

The comfortable victory in an unusual midday kickoff at the Bernabeu gave Carlo Ancelotti's side a joint share of the lead in the standings with a perfect nine points from three games.

After a subdued start at the giant, sun-drenched arena, Karim Benzema dinked a pass through to Isco and the Spain playmaker, who joined from Malaga in the close season, drilled a shot past Bilbao goalkeeper Iago Herrerin.


Image: Real Madrid's Isco (left) and Athletic Bilbao's Andoni Iraola (right) vie for possession during their La Liga match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid on Saturday
Photographs: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

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Ronaldo pumps in 202nd goal for Real

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Ronaldo powered home a header moments before halftime for his 202nd goal in 202 official games for Real and his 11th against Bilbao, putting him on a par with the club's former strikers Raul and Hugo Sanchez.

Bilbao threatened a comeback on a couple of occasions before Isco picked up another assist from Benzema, again whistled by the home crowd after fluffing a number of chances, and the 21-year-old found the net with a sublime first-time strike.

Ibai Gomez made the scoreline slightly more respectable for the visitors, who have now conceded 22 goals in their last five league visits to the Bernabeu, when he clipped the ball past Diego Lopez in the 79th minute after neat work on the right from fellow substitute Oscar de Marcos.


Image: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring Real's 2nd goal on Saturday
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

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Modric inspired Madrid win

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Croat Modric, who started alongside Germany's Sami Khedira in central midfield, had an excellent game and the crowd chanted his name midway through the second half when he snuffed out a Bilbao attack.

Real over level with Villarreal who also have nine points from three matches after their 3-0 success at Osasuna on Saturday.

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has rested Xavi and Alexis Sanchez for the Spanish champions' game at Valencia later on Sunday (1900 GMT) but Lionel Messi is back in the squad after missing last weekend's 1-0 win at Malaga with a bruised thigh.

Atletico Madrid visit fellow Champions League participants Real Sociedad at San Sebastian (1700). Barca, Atletico, Bilbao and Real were the only other teams apart from Villarreal to win their opening two games.


Image: Luka Modric celebrates with teammates after Isco's second goal on Saturday
Photographs: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

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