Real Madrid go into the last game of the season still with a chance of winning La Liga thanks to a Nacho goal on 68 minutes.
The result means they will go into the final matches next weekend needing a big favour from former club legend Ronaldo Nazario.
The Valladolid club Ronaldo owns and is president of are fighting for their lives down at the bottom of the table and they play home to Atletico Madrid on the last day.
If Valladolid can prevent Atletico Madrid from winning and Real Madrid beat Villarreal then Zinedine Zidane’s team will be champions.
I wasn’t paying attention to the Atletico game,’ said Zidane. ‘We learned about their score right at the end.
‘We always knew this league would be played right to the last minute of the last game.’
Madrid still suffering from various absences, the circumstances were far from ideal for their trip to the Basque country.
It is to the coach’s credit that they have stayed in the race this far, with Madrid suffering around 60 injuries this season, far more than their rivals. Several players are running on empty.
They complained bitterly when the ball struck Jon Morcillo’s elbow in the box from Alvaro Odriozola’s cross at San Mames, but no penalty was awarded.
Madrid could not create much else in the first half, exhaustion taking its toll, with Athletic’s defence keeping Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior at arm’s length.
Eventually they got the breakthrough when Casemiro, who had earlier hit the crossbar, crossed and Nacho netted at the back post in the 68th minute.
The defender did not know much about it, but he was in the right place at the right time, as he has so often been this season.
Madrid had the lead, both in Bilbao and in the standings.