Real Madrid's Marcelo celebrates goal with Black Lives Matter gesture

Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Marcelo kneels on the field to celebrate his goal during the La Liga.(Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images)

Real Madrid left-back and vice-captain Marcelo marked his goal in Real Madrid’s return to the La Liga with a powerful gesture in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Playing a home game but not at the famed Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Real Madrid resumed their Spanish La Liga campaign with a 3-1 win over lowly Eibar to remain on the heels of leaders Barcelona.

The game saw veteran Real defender Marcelo take a knee after his goal on 37 minutes, in support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Toni Kroos (fourth minute) and Sergio Ramos (30th minute) also scored as Madrid won the game at the club's training centre while major renovation work takes place at the 80,000-capacity Bernabeu.

Eden Hazard, who had been expected to miss the rest of the season because of a foot injury sustained before the coronavirus pandemic, thrived on his return and set up two of the goals.

There were no fans at the 6,000-capacity Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium, which is used mostly by Madrid's "B" team.

"This is completely different to what we experienced before, you have to adapt," Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said after the victory in his 200th match in charge.

The result has Madrid two points behind Barcelona with 10 rounds remaining to be played.

A large banner in the stands spanned from one goal line to the other with the image of a black ribbon and the message "in our hearts," honouring the nearly 28,000 people who have died of COVID-19 in Spain.

Atletico Madrid stumble

Atletico Madrid's struggles continued after they were held 1-1 at mid-table Athletic Bilbao.

A third straight league draw is a setback for Diego Simeone's team who are sixth, outside the Champions League spots.

The goals at the empty San Mames Stadium came a couple of minutes apart late in the first half, with Athletic's Iker Muniain scoring in the 37th and Atletico equalising with Diego Costa in the 39th for his first goal since last October.

Sergio Ramos celebrates a goal with Eden Hazard during the La Liga football match between Real Madrid and SD Eibar. (Photo by Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images)

During the celebration, Costa held the jersey of Atletico women's team player Virginia Torrecilla, who is recovering from brain surgery to remove a tumour.

Fourth-placed Real Sociedad came from behind to draw 1-1 at Osasuna.

Mikel Oyarzabal's second-half strike on 61 minutes cancelled out Adrian's opener from the penalty spot in the 29th minute.