Ronaldo off in Madrid-Athletic draw

Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off in a thrilling draw between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao.

Ronaldo saw red after a spat with Carlos Gurpegi and Ander Iturraspe, the former making a meal of a minor incident before the Portuguese went head to head with the latter.

Ronaldo was at the centre of the scuffle but far from the only provocateur, with Iturraspe shown a yellow card for his involvement.

Jese gave Madrid the lead on his first League start but Ibai Gomez scored with his second touch after coming off the bench.

Madrid were looking for three points to move into second place, behind city rivals Atletico who went top after thumping Real Sociedad.

But Carlo Ancelotti’s side remain third, level on points with Barcelona, who lost to Valencia on Saturday.

The entire game was played at a furious pace with the first-half in particular littered with mistakes and errant passes.

The sloppiness largely disappeared after the break with an engrossing encounter left in its place.

Aritz Aduriz had the best chance of the goalless first-half but shot wide, while Iker Muniain had a presentable opening but wasted an open goal.

Madrid struggled to get out of their half for much of the opening 45 minutes and were forced into some last-gasp defending.

Gorka Iraizoz was finally fully tested not long after the restart by Karim Benzema, who had a powerful shot batted away at the near post.

It was Bilbao’s turn to have trouble gaining territory in the second-half and Madrid’s forward flurry reaped rewards.

Ronaldo had largely been a peripheral figure but he eventually found space and his cross was converted by Jese.

But the lead didn’t last as seconds after coming off the bench, Gomez scored a powerful volley from the rebound from his free-kick.

Ronaldo was dismissed shortly after but despite having a man advantage for the final 15 minutes Bilbao struggled to fashion a clear-cut opening.

Bilbao maintain their unbeaten home League record while Madrid are left to rue an opportunity to overtake Barca, with Atleti now top dogs.

Athletic 1-1 Madrid

Scorer: Jese 65 (RM), Gomez 74 (AB)

Ronaldo S/O 75

Athletic: Iraizoz; De Marcos (Iraola 59), Gurpegi, Laporte, Balenziaga; Iturraspe, Mikel Rico (Benat 87); Susaeta, Herrera, Muniain (Gomez 73); Aduriz

Madrid: Diego Lopez; Carvajal (Varane 90), Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Modric, Di Maria; Jese (Illarramendi 83), Ronaldo, Benzema (Morata 87)