Real Madrid 2-2 Arsenal (3-2 on penalties) - 4 players who impressed for Los Blancos
Los Blancos found themselves a goal and man down as early as the first ninth minute when defender Nacho was sent off for a second bookable offense after handling the ball in the penalty area.
Their performance in the first half suggested that it would be a second straight defeat for Los Blancos having fallen to a 3-1 reversal against Bayern Munich four days ago.
However, a slew of changes by Zinedine Zidane at half-time helped swing the pendulum back in his side’s favour and the Frenchman would have been very pleased by what he saw from some his players.
In this piece, we shall be highlighting the four most impressive players for Real Madrid in their match against Arsenal.
#1 Gareth Bale
By all indications, Gareth Bale is on his way out of the club, with Zinedine Zidane saying so himself in no uncertain terms.
Having elected not to feature against Bayern Munich in Real Madrid’s last fixture (by Zidane's admission), there was space on the bench for the Welshman, watching on while his teammates were all over the place in the first 45 minutes.
Given the massive underperformance by Los Blancos in the first half, whole scale changes were required at the interval and Zidane begrudgingly turned to his castaway star.
Real Madrid’s second most expensive player took the place of the man (Hazard) who inherited his title and the difference in their performance could not have been starker.
It took the 30-year-old only 11 minutes to find the back of the net, as he was on hand to latch onto a loose ball in the box and poke it into the back of the net to put Real right into the game.
For the entirety of his 45 minute spell on the field, Bale was lively and he fashioned a great chance for himself in the 66th minute after he connected with a Vinicius cross to force a save from Emiliano Martinez, while also clearing off the line for Real Madrid to keep them level.
The only drawback to his performance was his missed penalty in the shootout but even that takes nothing away from his sublime display.
While Zidane and many fans might not think so, barring injuries, Gareth Bale is one of the best players in the world and in what might have been his last performance in a Real Madrid jersey, the two-time PFA Player of the Year served a timely reminder of his abilities.