Real Madrid’s visit to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday will be one of the most attractive clashes of the weekend in European football. Carlo Ancelotti expects to see Gareth Bale perfectly fit for this match, since the Welshman already missed the previous league game against the Basques and was sidelined due to injury last Tuesday against Espanyol.
However, Bale already knows what if feels like to face Athletic and defeating them. On August 6th 2011, Tottenham Hotspur hosted the Leones in a friendly match at White Hart Lane, where Bale was playing at that time.
Athletic controlled the game in the first half. The Basques, coached by Marcelo Bielsa, earned a 0-1 lead thanks to a goal by defender Mikel San Jose. However, in the second half Spurs put Bale on -he had started from the bench- and the Welshman completely changed the game.
Bale assisted Peter Crouch to equalise in the third minute of the second half. Minutes later, Jermain Defoe sealed the hosts come-back picking-up the follow-up after Gorka Iraizoz’s save.
That 2-1 loss was the first defeat of Bielsa as Athletic’s boss. Luka Modric also featured in that game, who could also repeat next Saturday that victory they earned against the Basque team in 2011.