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Bale scores debut goal as Real Madrid labor to 2-2 draw

Sep 15, 2013, 11:09 AM EDT

Villarreal CF v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Getty Images

With all the pressure, all the hype, and quite frankly all the money surrounding Gareth Bale‘s drawn-out move to Real Madrid, he went a long way towards silencing the critics by scoring a goal on debut.

Los Blancos couldn’t keep two separate leads in a physical battle with Villarreal on the road on Saturday, managing just a share of the points in a 2-2 draw, but in the end Bale stole the headlines.

It came in the 38th minute as Luka Modric played through right-back Daniel Carvajal on the right edge of the penalty area. Carvajal fired a low cross along the face of the goal past Cristiano Ronaldo and fell to a streaking Bale who slid in and slotted it home.

The Welshman tweeted that he was “proud” to get a goal on debut, and that his 60 minutes of time was a sticking point for him too, as he works to get back to full match fitness.

Speaking about Bale and fellow debutant Asier Illarramendi, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said, “I think they did well. I didn’t want to run the risk of playing them for 90 minutes because it is not good for them in their first game for a while. I think Bale is happy because he has scored for the first time with Real Madrid, which is very important for him. It was a difficult game for all of us but he played well and showed a good attitude.”

Throughout most of the match Bale actually looked a bit sluggish, failing to have a serious mark on the match other than his score, but the goal is ultimately what he will be judged on and in that sense the start to his Real Madrid career should be seen as a success.

Real technical director Emilio Butragueno echoed Ancelotti’s sentiments on Bale, saying, “It is great news that he has scored on his debut. It was his first game with his teammates and he has only had three days with them, but he is a player with enormous potential.”

Madrid often looked on the back foot at Villarreal, with goalkeeper Diego Lopez making plenty of acrobatic saves to keep the visitors from their first defeat of the season.  Ancelotti said after the match that he would start Iker Casillas for the first time in the upcoming Champions League match against Galatasaray on Tuesday.

  1. rondempsey13 - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Reblogged this on Best Spokane Soccer Clubs.

  2. footballer4ever - Sep 15, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Grow up, Bale! And Bail out from executing that heart-shaped celebration. It was nice and original at the beginning, but it’s not “cute” anymore unless you are shooting to attract the teenie-booper audience or make competition to Justin Beiber.

    • midtec2005 - Sep 16, 2013 at 9:01 AM

      While I agree with you, attracting the teenie-booper audience does generate a lot of money, haha.

      • footballer4ever - Oct 6, 2013 at 9:37 PM

        well, teenie-boppers have Ronaldo for that, not sure Bale is anywhere near by performing that lame heart-shaped celebration, but i may be wrong.

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