Bale Scores two and silences his critics, at least for now!
Gareth Bale put a difficult week behind him by scoring two goals in the first half for Real Madrid as they beat Levante 2-0. The Welshman had been going through a difficult period of late facing jeers from some sections of his home support, after a nine-game spell without getting on the score sheet, and he reacted to scoring his first goal by covering his ears. He then kicked an advertising hoarding in a display of how much the goal meant to him.
Bale, who signed for Real Madrid for £85.3 million in 2013, has faced criticism from some pundits, particularly after his side’s nervy high-scoring Champions League display against Schalke. On Friday, influential sports daily Marca published a full-page analysis of the Welsh international’s recent performances, with Bale described as “absent, lost and identifying little with the cause”.
The former Tottenham winger was visibly relieved after reacting quickest to put Real Madrid ahead with a powerful right-foot strike. Real went into the game trailing Barcelona by four points, having allowed their rivals to overtake them after managing just two points in their last two games. The home side should have scored more than twice, with Ronaldo especially culpable of wasting chances, but they will surely be happy with the final score nonetheless.
Bale’s first goal came when he drove home a rebound after Ronaldo’s acrobatic volley had been cleared off the line. Ronaldo visibly showed his frustration at his effort not going in despite Bale’s effort giving his side the lead and to make matters worse, the second goal came when Bale deflected a Ronaldo shot into the net. The reaction was described, by former England striker Gary Lineker as, “bizarre and unhealthy”.
As usual Croatian midfielder Luka Modric was running the show in the first half of the match as he showed exactly what Los Blancos were missing in his absence and they will be thankful for his return as they visit Barcelona next Sunday in a clasico match with the league lead on the line. A top football tipster won’t easily predict a winner in this match, but Barca do look in a little better shape at the moment. Real manager Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with Bale’s performance. “I saw Bale more motivated, more eager and the entire team was more concentrated,” he said. “We will arrive at Camp Nou with the utmost confidence.”
Bale’s goals were his 11th and 12th of the La Liga season, taking his overall tally to 16 in 38 game but if compared to Ronaldo’s tally, who leads Madrid with 41, it does seem as if the Welshman does need to up his game a little