Jese Rodriguez opened the scoring for Los Blancos mid-way through the second half before substitute Ibai Gomez rattled home a stunning strike to level.
Athletic Bilbao suffocated Real Madrid in the first half, pressing them hard with Ander Herrera a standout performer in the centre of midfielder. However for all their dominance Athletic failed to find an opener before the break.
Real Madrid took the lead when Jese toe poked home Ronaldo’s pass across the face of goal before Gomez equalized with his second touch, powering in off the inside of the post from outside the box.
Ronaldo was dismissed with 15 minutes remaining, with replays showing the decision to be a soft one. However Athletic couldn’t make their man advantage count as Real Madrid failed to make the most of Barcelona’s slip up on Saturday.
2’ CHEEKY – Ronaldo almost catches out the Athletic keeper within the opening two minutes. He takes control of a poor by-kick and shoots first time with Iraizoz out of posistion. But the shot flashes just by the post!
50' DISALLOWED - Ronaldo has the ball in the back of the net but he's called offside! Alonso picked out a pass, splitting the Athletic defence, with Ronaldo slamming home but he was half a yard offside. Correct decision.
65' GOAL - Huge goal! Ronaldo plays an early ball across the face of goal for Jese to toe poke into the net. That could be a huge goal in the context of the title race!
73' GOAL - What a strike! With his second touch of the game Gomez smashes a half volley in off the inside of the post. Incredible! Great hit.
75' RONALDO RED! - Ronaldo is shown a straight red card! Replays show he angled his arm into the face of Gurpegi but there was very little contact! Gurpegi hit the deck like he'd been picked out by a sniper. Very soft.
85' CLOSE - Great save! Gomez sends a dipping, half-volley towards goal but Lopez tips the ball over the bar. Wonderful save by the Real Madrid keeper. That might have saved a point for his side.
Ibai Gomez’s goal was the first goal Real Madrid have conceded in all competitions in 2014.
Jese Rodriguez scored Real Madrid’s only goal of the game in what was his first league start for the club.
TALKING POINT – Was the decision to send off Ronaldo the correct one?
The Portuguese winger was shown a straight red for an incident involved him and Gurpegi. However replays showed that Ronaldo only brushed the defender, although he did move his arm in his decision. Correct decision or a soft one?
MAN OF THE MATCH – Ander Herrera
The former Manchester United target was a dominant force in the centre of midfield. Alonso couldn’t get near him and his energy caused problems for Real Madrid throughout the entire game. Impressive display.
Athletic Bilbao – Iraizoz 6, De Marcos 4, Gurpegi 6, Laporte 6, Balenziaga 7, Iturraspe 6, Mikel Rico 5, Herrera 8, Muniain 6, Aduriz 7. Subs – Iraola 5, Gomez 7.
Real Madrid – Lopez 6, Carvajal 5, Pepe 6, Ramos 6, Marcelo 5, Alonso 4, Modric 5, Di Maria 6, Jese 7, Ronaldo 4, Benzema 5