Real beats Bilbao, finishes year on a high

Atletico continues to struggle, loses to Granada

Karim Benzema scored both goals in Real Madrid’s 2-1 win at Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday, sending Carlo Ancelotti’s side into the winter break eight points clear atop LaLiga.

As Real ended the year with a bang, city rival and defending champion Atletico Madrid suffered its fourth straight defeat, a 1-2 reverse at Granada leaving it fifth a yawning 17 points behind.

Benzema ultimately put the fixture out of reach of Real’s Basque host in a matter of minutes, Oihan Sancet pulling one back with his speedy 10th minute reply which hit the woodwork before evading Thibaut Cortois.

Benzema’s 14th and 15th goals of the season consolidated his position at the top of the goalscoring chart.

Earlier, Atletico’s shaky defence of its LaLiga crown took another big hit with the injured duo of Antoine Griezmann and Stefan Savic absent.

The results: LaLiga: Granada 2 (Machis 17, Molina 61) bt Atletico Madrid 1 (Felix 2); Athletic Bilbao 1 (Sancet 10) lost to Real Madrid 2 (Benzema 4 & 7).

Ligue 1: Lorient 1 (Monconduit 40) drew with Paris Saint-Germain 1 (Icardi 90+1).

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