Sunday 15 December 2019

Jeers for Bale but Real hold tough to keep pace with Barca

European Round-Up

Target: Gareth Bale was subjected to a chorus of boos after coming on for Real Madrid on Saturday. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Target: Gareth Bale was subjected to a chorus of boos after coming on for Real Madrid on Saturday. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Independent.ie sportsdesk

Gareth Bale came off the bench to a chorus of jeers on Saturday before helping Real Madrid seal a 3-1 win over Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu.

Fans were reacting to a photo of Bale celebrating EURO2020 qualification with Welsh team-mates and a flag bearing the slogan 'Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order'.

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Goals from Karim Benzema, Federico Valverde and Luka Modric sealed the three points after Willian Jose had given the visitors a first-half lead.

It keeps them level on points with Barcelona who had earlier won 2-1 on the road to Leganes.

They also came from behind with Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal grabbing second half goals.

Juventus and Inter Milan continue to head the table in Italy as both picked up away wins on Saturday - over Atalanta and Torino respectively.

The reigning champions stay in pole position with just a one-point gap.

Napoli failed to win for the fifth consecutive league game, drawing 1-1 with AC Milan at the San Siro and dropping to seventh in the table. In this form, their trip to Anfield on Wednesday becomes even more daunting.

In Germany, a 4-0 thumping of Fortuna Dusseldorf means holders Bayern Munich have closed the gap at the top to just one point after leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach suffered a shock defeat at Union Berlin on Saturday.

"The team did exactly what we demanded from them," said interim coach Hans Flick who has come under the microscope since Mauricio Pochettino became available.

"We put them under pressure from the start and showed that we were determined.

"The team did that impressively in the first half. It is good fun working with these players," added Flick.

Elsewhere, in South America, Brazil's Flamengo were crowned Copa Libertadores winners on Saturday night as the competition held it's first single-match final.

A late brace from striker Gabriel Barbosa overturned River Plate's 1-0 lead and snatched victory for the Rio de Janeiro club.

Barbosa, on-loan from Inter Milan, was then sent off seconds before the final whistle, while a red card was also shown to River Plate's Exequiel Palacios.

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