Saturday 29 April 2017

Gareth Bale faces a ban after red card...but he will be back before Ireland v Wales

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale (L) argues with the referee
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale (L) argues with the referee
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Gareth Bale’s bid to reach full fitness ahead of the Ireland v Wales World Cup qualifier in Dublin later this month was dealt a blow after he was sent off in Real Madrid’s thrilling 3-3 draw against Las Palmas on Wednesday night.

Bale clashed with Jonathan Viera two minutes into the second half of a frantic game at the Bernabeu, first kicking his opponent and then shoving him in an incident that left the referee with little choice other than to brandish the red card.

The Wales winger will now sit out at least one match through suspension, but he will be back in action for Real Madrid before the vital World Cup qualifier in Dublin on March 24th.

Bale was criticised by his own team-mate Marcelo after the game, as his dismissal proved costly for a real Madrid side that needed to late goals to salvage a point on a night when they lost their lead at the top of La Liga.

“Bale is old enough to know what he is getting up to, we are with him, these things happen in football and let’s hope that it doesn’t happen again before the end of the season,” stated the Brazilian, in a less than polite assessment of his team-mates loss of control.

Bale has been edging back to peak fitness after undergoing ankle surgery three months ago, with the 27-year-old seeing red as he made his first start in a La Liga match at the Bernabeu since he scored twice against Leganes on November 6th.

His rush of blood proved costly as Las Palmas took advantage of the extra man by scoring twice to open up a 3-1 lead, with two late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo denying them a shock away win.

Bale will now wait to hear his fate as Spanish officials decide the length of his ban, but he is certain to miss Saturday’s away game at Eibar.

With Real Madrid dropping points, Barcelona’s 6-1 win against Sporting Gijon fired the Spanish champions to the top of the table on a night when their head coach Luis Enrique confirmed he would be stepping down as Barca boss at the end of this season.

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