Casemiro, Real Madrid, (c) Soccrates Images

3 talking points as Real Madrid are beaten by Athletic Bilbao

Real Madrid will not defend the Spanish Super Cup after succumbing to a 2-1 defeat to Athletic Bilbao in the semi-final on Thursday.

Real Madrid saw a nine-match unbeaten run come to an end as Athletic Bilbao beat them 2-1 in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final. Raul Garcia scored twice in the first-half for the Basque giants, both goals being the result of Lucas Vazquez’s individual mistakes. Karim Benzema pulled a goal back in the second half, but to no avail.

Los Blancos will now have a week’s rest, but they blew away a chance to start the year with a piece of silverware. In truth, it was a pathetic performance from the side who looked out of ideas in the final-third. Nevertheless, the Whites must now turn their attentions to the Copa del Rey which begins next week and continue probing for La Liga.

Here is a look at the three talking points from the match.

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Karim Benzema scored the solitary goal for Madrid and Marco Asensio hit the crossbar twice in the second half, but the chances being created should be no excuse for a lacklustre display. Real Madrid were very easy to defend for Athletic Bilbao and they seemed out of ideas beyond a certain point.

The Whites kept crossing the ball in and a defensive midfielder, Casemiro, had to be inside the box to meet the deliveries. Moreover, there were more side passes than direct balls which could have helped in splitting the side’s defence. Such a result was bound to come Madrid’s way and they should only be thankful that there is time on the side to fix it.