Athletic Bilbao burst out of the gates with a high-octane press that unsettled Real Madrid’s seasoned technicians and raised the game to a frightening tempo. Julen Lopetegui embraced the chaos in the second half by bringing on Casemiro, Isco and Lucas Vázquez, but it only proved enough to salvage a 1-1 draw.
Real Madrid arrived in Bilbao with a starting eleven full of first team regulars. The one exception was Dani Ceballos, who got the nod ahead of Casemiro in order to rest him after he played heavy minutes in the international break for Brazil. This pushed Toni Kroos into a defensive midfield role behind the aforementioned Ceballos and the recently crowned UEFA Player of the Year Luka Modrić.