Sunday 25 February 2018

'Gareth Bale mentally weak against Atlético'

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale has a shot saved by Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale has a shot saved by Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak Newsdesk Newsdesk

Gareth Bale continues to attract criticism and has come under from Marca for his performance in the 0-0 draw with neighbours Atletico in the Champions League.

The world's most expensive player had a brilliant chance in the opening minutes of the 0-0 first-leg draw at the Vicente Calderon, but spurned the opportunity for a priceless away goal.

The Welsh international has been the focus of much attention this season, with many critics suggesting his performances have by and large been underwhelming after such a successful first season in Spain.

In an article titled 'Bale's Atletico block', Marca lamented the fact the former Spurs man has been so brittle against their local rivals.

"It could have all been so different if Gareth Bale had kept his cool, but the Welshman has a mental block against Atlético de Madrid."

"Less than four minutes had gone when he burst past Diego Godín and went clean through, only to place his left-footed finish in Jan Oblak's comfort zone.

"It was too early to cry over spilt milk for Real Madrid, but the rest of the match would prove that you cannot afford to spurn chances like that in a Champions League quarter-final. The eventual 0-0 result leaves the tie wide open going back to the Bernabéu."

According to Spain's biggest selling daily newspaper, it is symptomatic of his run of form against Atletico since his transfer nearly two years ago, despite a crucial goal in the Champions League final in 2014.

"One thing that would make a big difference would be for Bale to start delivering consistently against Atlético. He may well have scored in the Champions League final, but that was his only goal in 11 Madrid derbies."

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