Goals from Sergio Ramos, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and two from Karim Benzema were enough to give Real Madrid a 5-1 win over Athletic Bilbao.

As Jose Mourinho's men looked to hunt down Barcelona at the top of La Liga, it was perhaps no shock to see them dominate possession in the opening exchanges.

The smart passing of Xabi Alonso and the lightening quick counter-attacking of the attacking quadrant was in full flow early on, and they could have scored within four minutes, only for Cristiano Ronaldo's header to go wide of the post.

It didn't take them long to score though, as on 12 minutes, a long ball from Luka Modric found Benzema, and the French striker coolly chipped the ball over Gorka Iraizoz to finish.

Wave after wave of Madrid attack beset the Athletic backline, but the home side just couldn’t finish their chances.

Ramos had a header tipped over, Jose Maria Callejon shot into the side-netting and Fabio Coentrao blasted into row Z.

But they did double their lead on the half hour mark. A free kick from Ozil found Ramos, and he made no mistake this time heading in.

And just two minutes later, it was three. Benzema again, turned his man, and curled a left-footed shot into the far corner leaving the goalkeeper no chance.

On the stroke of half-time however, Marcelo Bielsa’s men pulled one back. Ibai Gomez, from the edge of the box, struck a first time effort low past Iker Casillas, and gave the visitors a glimmer of hope going into the break.

After the interval, the capital side kept on coming and further extended their lead on 56 minutes. A Ronaldo through-ball found Benzema, who squared it for Ozil to tap in from close-range.

It was all Madrid at this point, and it was only the width of the post that stopped Callejon making it five midway through the second half.

A host of changes were made by both sides, and it was one of those substitutes who eventually did make it 5-1. Alvaro Arbeloa found Khedira, and the German international fired a shot under Iraizoz and over the line.

Real Madrid 5-1 Athletic Bilbao

Scorers: Benzema 12, 32 (RM), Ramos 30 (RM), Ozil 56 (RM), Khedira 72 (RM); Ibai 42 (AB)

Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Coentrao; Xabi Alonso, Modric; Callejon (Di Maria 70), Ozil (Khedira 61), Ronaldo; Benzema (Morata 74)

Athletic Bilbao: Iraizoz; Iraola, Ekiza, Aurtenetxe, San Jose; Iturraspe, Gurpegi (Castillo 79), Muniain (Llorente 45); Susaeta, Aduriz (Toquero 68), Ibai

La Liga - Club News