Ramos the penalty hero again as Real inch closer to Spanish title

Ramos (right) runs away in celebration after scoring from the penalty spot. (AP pic)

BILBAO: Real Madrid wrapped their tentacles ever tighter around the La Liga title as a Sergio Ramos penalty gave them a 1-0 win away to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday for a seventh consecutive victory.

The hard-fought win took Zinedine Zidane’s side onto 77 points after 34 games, seven clear of second-placed Barca who visit in-form Villarreal later on Sunday.

Athletic’s San Mames is one of the toughest away trips in Spain and Real faced another gruelling match even without any fans in the stadium, as the Basques continually closed them down and subjected them to their usual aerial bombardment.

Yet just as in Real’s last match against Getafe, the breakthrough came from the penalty spot, and Ramos once again showed nerves of steel by firing into the bottom corner in the 73rd minute to score a fifth goal in seven matches.