Rodrygo brace leads Real Madrid to win over Athletic Club


Ancelotti: We will have the advantage over Man City

Carlo Ancelotti believes that due to Real Madrid's lighter schedule, his side will have an advantage going into their Champions League quarterfinal clash.

Rodrygo netted a goal in each half as Real Madrid secured a 2-0 home win against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, cementing their position at the top of the LaLiga table.

Madrid have 75 points, eight ahead of Barcelona in second and 10 clear of third-placed Girona. Bilbao are fourth with 56 points.

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"It's a special day. Scoring wearing this shirt is always important," Rodrygo said after the game. "I'm happy with the win

"[The first goal] is a move I like to do a lot. I like coming inside and shooting. I want to score a lot more goals like that. Now in this final stage of the season in LaLiga we have to get the points, to be close to winning the trophy."

The result hit fourth-placed Bilbao's hopes of securing a place in next season's Champions League as they are only one point ahead of Atletico Madrid, who play at Villarreal on Monday.

Rodrygo broke the deadlock after eight minutes, calmly curling the ball into the far corner after a composed run to the edge of the box from the left flank, as the Bilbao defence failed to close down the Brazilian winger.

Rodrygo celebrates after scoring a goal for Real Madrid against Athletic Club.
Rodrygo celebrates after scoring a goal for Real Madrid against Athletic Club.
Getty Images

"You could say he feels better on the left, but he's good everywhere," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said after the game. "Let's not forget he scored two goals playing on the right in a Champions League semifinal.

"We were convinced Rodrygo would do something in this game. Maybe he likes this position [on the left] more than the others. He was the most important player."

Aurelien Tchouameni almost found the net with a powerful header from a corner just before half-time, but the ball narrowly missed the target, denying Real another goal.

In the 73rd minute, Rodrygo was played free on the wing by Jude Bellingham on a counter-attack, giving him time and space to run into the box and guide the ball into the bottom corner.

Bellingham returned from a two-match suspension to replace Vinicius Jr, who was suspended for this match after picking up five yellow cards.

"He wasn't as fresh as he usually is," Ancelotti said. "He played two intense games with England and he paid for that a bit.

"He's learnt what he has to do [with the refs]: keep quiet."