Watch: Toni Kroos gives Real Madrid the lead against Athletic Club with a driven effort from outside the box

Real Madrid welcomed Athletic Club to the Alfredo di Stefano intent on building on last week’s good run.

Los Blancos enjoyed a stellar seven days that saw them beat Sevilla at the Sanchez-Pizjuan, qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League by seeing off Borussia Monchengladbach and halve their gap to Atletico Madrid by winning the Madrid derby.

Athletic came into the tie without a win in three, sitting 13th in La Liga. The Basque side could go level on points with Barcelona should they emerge victorious from the capital.

Madrid, by contrast, were sitting in third before kick-off, and would go level on points with both Atletico and league leaders Real Sociedad should they secure victory.

Los Blancos were handed a boost and Athletic’s task was made harder inside the first 15 minutes.

Raul Garcia, the Basque’s combative attacker, was given a second yellow card and sent off for a clumsy challenge on Toni Kroos.

Kroos would prove instrumental for Madrid, giving them the lead on the stroke of half-time.

The ball fell to the German metronome at the edge of the box before he unleashed a driven effort past La Roja goalkeeper Unai Simon and into the bottom left corner.

Featured image courtesy of Real Madrid CF.

Tags Athletic Club La Liga Real Madrid Toni Kroos