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Three takeaways from Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao

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Athletic Club v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Real Madrid earned a point on their visit to San Mames after completing a somewhat mediocre performance. Los Blancos just couldn’t match Athletic’s intensity for most of the game and they will need to play with more composure if they want to achieve success this season. Here are three takeaways from the game.

  1. The team’s pressing was horrible. Dani Ceballos was the only player pressing Bilbao consistently. The Basque side played quite comfortable when they had the ball and Madrid’s effort defensively was just poor here. There was a ton of space between the midfield and the defensive line. Lopetegui’s men pressed very effectively during the first three games of the season and it will be extremely important for them to do it again.
  2. Bale will need to be more consistent this season. Granted, his assist to Isco was very good, but the Welshman was fairly invisible for most of the game. So were Asensio and Benzema, to be fair, but Bale is the leader of this team now and will need to show consistent effort every single game.
  3. There were still some positives. Varane was dominant and Ceballos looked like he can be trusted, even though Lopetegui shockingly decided to take him out of the game at HT when he was the best midfielder for Los Blancos. Isco came off the bench and scored the equalizer while also helping the team by taking control of the game.