Wednesday 18 September 2019

Bale to stay at Madrid after inspiring Real's opening-day victory

Spurs previously lost Gareth Bale to Real Madrid. Photo: Getty Images
Spurs previously lost Gareth Bale to Real Madrid. Photo: Getty Images

Kristofer McCormack

Gareth Bale started in Real Madrid's league opener against Celta Vigo on Saturday, a month after Zinedine Zidane publicly announced the club's intention to sell the Welshman.

In late July, the Frenchman said that the sooner Bale could leave, the better. However, following the collapse of a potential move to China, Zidane backtracked and stated on Friday that he would be placing his faith in the 30-year-old for the upcoming season.

Zidane followed up his comments by giving Bale the nod on Saturday and the former Spurs forward impressed, setting up the game's opening goal by Karim Benzema. Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez added to Madrid's advantage in the second half before a Luka Modric red card and Iker Losada's late consolation. It was a crucial three points for Real following Barcelona's 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Friday, thanks to a stunning bicycle kick from Aritz Adruiz. The 38-year-old came on as a late substitute with the winning goal his first touch of the match.

In Germany, Bayern Munich drew their opening Bundesliga match against Hertha Berlin 2-2 with Liverpool loanee, Marko Grujic scoring for Hertha.

The Serbian put the hosts 2-1 up heading into half-time. However, a second goal from Robert Lewandowski spared the champion's blushes. It was the first time since 2012 that Bayern had failed to win on the opening day, The 2012 champions, Dortmund, won their opening match 5-1 against Ausburg, topping the table at the end of the opening weekend.

Monaco continued their torrid start to the Ligue 1 season with a 3-0 defeat away to Metz on Saturday. The 2017 champions narrowly avoided relegation last year and consecutive 3-0 defeats leave them bottom of the table at the end of matchweek two.

The upcoming weekend will see Serie A kick off as Juventus begin their hunt for a ninth league title in a row against Parma on Saturday.

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