An early free kick goal and a powerful header in front of the net from Cristiano Ronaldo were enough for Real Madrid, as they defeated Athletic Bilbao 3-0 Sunday at San Mames.

Ronaldo was questionable for the match, but he came through in Madrid's 21st La Liga victory this season.

Gonzalo Higuain added another goal in the 76th minute, but by then Bilbao had already been broken by Ronaldo.

The Portuguese star fired a free kick that curled over Athletic’s wall, and past goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz in the second minute of play.

After a foul that earned Los Blancos another free kick near Athletic’s area, Xabi Alonso sailed a cross in front of the net, which Ronaldo converted into a header goal in the 68th.

With less than 15 minutes remaining in the match, Ronaldo set up Higuain, who delivered a shot into the bottom corner of the net to give Real Madrid the comfortable lead.

The huge gap in goals was thanks in part to the Lions controlling possession 54-46, but they could not convert that into shot opportunities, with just two of their 11 shots on target.

The match did get rather physical, with five yellow cards issued in total. The Lions earned three, and Madrid two.

ATHLETIC BILBAO 0-1 REAL MADRID by goalsarena2012


Athletic vs Real Madrid 0:2 Cristiano Ronaldo by footballdaily1


ATHLETIC BILBAO 0-3 REAL MADRID by goalsarena2012