El Clasico: Examining Bale's Bernabeu drought ahead of Real Madrid-Barcelona
- A lot can change in the space of a year, but one thing has remained a frustrating constant for Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale.
Gareth Bale is a player in need of some home comforts when Real Madrid face off against Barcelona in a crucial Clasico in LaLiga on Sunday.
The Wales forward has endured a frustrating barren run for Los Blancos at the Santiago Bernabeu and it has now been 12 calendar months since his last home goal.
Bale last celebrated a LaLiga goal in front of his home supporters in a 2-0 triumph over Celta Vigo on March 16, 2019 and it would certainly be a welcome time to end the wait against new table-toppers Barca.
But just how does Bale's record over the last year stack up against his fellow Madrid forwards? With the help of Opta data, we have taken a look.
BALE'S BARREN RUN PART OF WIDER ISSUE?
Madrid have faced questions over their goal-scoring abilities since selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus ahead of the 2018-19 season and the evidence suggests their forwards are struggling collectively to share the burden at home.
Since March 16 last year, Karim Benzema has done his part to pick up the slack with an impressive 18 in 20 Bernabeu appearances in LaLiga.
Beyond that, the reading is a little grim. Rodrygo Goes has an impressive six in 10 but the only other players with more than one are Isco (two in 13) and Mariano Diaz (two from two).
Bale has not scored in 10 outings, albeit only five of those were from the start, with Lucas Vazquez and Brahim Diaz also goalless from 12 and seven home appearances respectively.
Vinicius Junior (one in 14), Eden Hazard (one in nine), Luka Jovic (one in nine) and James Rodriguez (one in five) all have a solitary strike to their name.
ARE MADRID SHOT-SHY?
Bale's lack of goals is not for the want of trying. His 20 shots attempted at the Bernabeu are beaten only by Benzema (87) and Vinicius (26) during the time period in question.
Hazard (13), Rodrygo (13), Isco (11), Vazquez (10) and Jovic (10) all have significantly fewer shots, while James has 11 from his five appearances so has a similar ratio to Bale.
More worryingly, though, is the fact just three of Bale's attempts have been on target. Vinicius (14), Isco (seven), Rodrygo (seven) and Hazard (seven) have all worked visiting goalkeepers more, while Benzema is once again the standout performer with 43 efforts on target.
Mariano (four) has more shots on target, while Vazquez (three) and Brahim (three) tally the same as Bale. Jovic (two) and James (two) are the only two with fewer, though the latter has played in five fewer games.
STRUGGLING TO CREATE?
A lack of goals is not necessarily the only concern for Bale. He has just two LaLiga assists at the Bernabeu since his last home goal and created just five chances.
Hazard only has one assist but has created 17 opportunities, while Vinicius has three and 18 in the respective categories.
Vinicius is one of only two players with more assists than Bale, though. Benzema unsurprisingly leads the way on eight, Brahim also has two, while Vazquez, Rodrygo, Jovic and James all only have one.
In terms of chances created, Vinicius (18), Vazquez (17), Rodrygo (12), Isco (11), Brahim (eight) and James (eight) all have more than Bale. Benzema, who has played more than any other forward in this time, has 37.Published 01 Mar 2020, 13:32 IST