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La Liga 2016/17: Real Madrid 2-0 Espanyol, 5 Talking Points

Gareth Bale scored on his return to the Real Madrid line-up after injury
Abhranil Roy
ANALYST
Modified 19 Feb 2017
Top 5 / Top 10

Goals from Alvaro Morata and Gareth Bale in each half saw Real Madrid comfortably brush off RCD Espanyol at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid yesterday. Madrid, who had disposed off a talented Napoli side midweek in the Champions League, barely had to break a sweat in the game which saw the likes of Luka Modric and Karim Benzema rested.

Also Read: La Liga 2016/17: Real Madrid 2-0 Espanyol, Player Ratings

The win sees Real Madrid retain their top spot on the table, with a three-point lead over Sevilla, who have played two games more.

Here are the five talking points from the game:


#1 Gareth Bale announces his return in style

It is never easy being out for three long months with an ankle injury, and then having to make a comeback in a team as competitive as Real Madrid. However, Gareth Bale is on a different level than most footballers, so he made a return with such panache that can only be matched by a handful in world football.

Having been brought on for Morata in the closing stages, the Welshman’s introduction saw the home side finally express their authority on the pitch. He scored his goal from a sweeping counter-attack after he ran on to a pass fed by the brilliant Isco and smashed the ball home at the far end of the goalkeeper.

The goal not only doubled their lead but also made it clear to Zidane that, when fit, Bale is his best choice in the wide areas.

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Published 19 Feb 2017
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