Bale puts transfer saga aside to set up Real Madrid’s first goal

first_imgGareth Bale put the confusion surrounding his future to one side on Saturday when he set up Real Madrid’s opening goal against Celta Vigo in La Liga.The game at the Bernabeu was just 12 minutes old when the Wales international bamboozled his marker to spit a shot across goal that was turned home at the far post by Karim Benzema.The assist was the eighth time Bale had been involved in a goal against Celta in just nine games against the team from Spain’s northwest coast, having scored six and assisted twice since arriving in La Liga in 2013. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Real, who are beginning their first full season under the charge of Zinedine Zidane after he returned to the club for his second spell in March, survived a disallowed goal from the visitors’ Brais Mendes to hold onto their lead at half time.Bale missed much of Real’s pre-season before coming on as a substitute in Sunday’s penalty shootout defeat to Roma, a game that finished 2-2 after 90 minutes.8 – Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale has been involved in eight goals (six scored, two assisted) in his nine LaLiga appearances versus Celta. Assist.— OptaJose (@OptaJose) August 17, 2019He almost joined Chinese side Jiangsu Suning last month before the move collapsed, with Real reportedly eager to claim a transfer fee for a player that cost them a world-record sum just six years ago.Zidane is adamant both Bale and fellow fringe player James Rodriguez can consider themselves part of the squad, though he did little to clarify the future of either.”James and Bale are players of the squad,” Zidane told reporters after the match in Rome. “They are both registered, but anything can happen and I, as a coach of Real Madrid, must count on them.”I count on them 100 per cent. James has not been summoned [to the squad recently], but this can change. Even before the end of the transfer window, everything can happen.”Real are looking to win their first La Liga title since 2017 when Zidane’s team overpowered Barcelona to take first place.Last term was an unmitigated disaster by the club’s standards, spending much of the first half of the season flailing in midtable under the doomed reign of former coach Julen Lopetegui.They crashed out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage to Ajax, a defeat that saw Lopetegui’s replacement Santiago Solari dismissed to permit the return of Zidane, three-time winner of Europe’s top prize during his first stint on the Madrid bench.last_img

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