September 20, 2019
Latest News

Bale makes strong showing in Real Madrid's convincing 3-1 win over Celta Vigo

Vigo, Spain, Aug 17 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid cruised past Celta Vigo 3-1 on Saturday in their La Liga opener thanks in large part to the play of Gareth Bale, who had seemed to be out of Zinedine Zidane's plans but now has his head coach's confidence once again.

The visitors built a 3-0 lead at Balaidos Municipal Stadium in this northwestern city thanks to an early goal set up by Bale and finished off by Karim Benzema, a spectacular strike by Toni Kroos at the one-hour mark and a late score by Lucas Vazquez, who had come on as a substitute.

But Real Madrid also relied on an outstanding defensive effort and the rock-solid play of Thibaut Courtois between the posts to secure the three points following star midfielder Luka Modric's straight red card in the 55th minute.

The visitors controlled possession just 43 percent of the time but they managed to create more opportunities and were more effective in the opposing area.

That superiority was evident in just the 11th minute when Bale maneuvered around a defender on the left side and sent in a cross that Benzema, who was trailing the play, poked into the back of the net from close range.

Both teams then had good chances to score over the remainder of the first half.

At the half-hour mark an outstanding pass from Celta's Iago Aspas could have led to a goal, but Gabriel "Toro" Fernandez moved too slowly to the ball and allowed Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane to break up the play.

Real Madrid then had a chance to add to their lead just before the intermission but were denied by goalkeeper Ruben Blanco, who got his hand on a delicate attempt by Modric and then made a diving save of a cross-shot by Bale.

On the final play before halftime, an apparent goal by Celta Vigo's Brais Mendez was disallowed for offside after a VAR review showed that Aspas was too far forward.

The second half then began with a flurry of action, with referee Javier Estrada Fernandez sending off Modric for stomping on Denis Suarez from behind and Courtois and Blanco making remarkable saves to deny attempts by Celta's Nestor Araujo and Benzema, respectively.

There was nothing Blanco could do, however, to stop a rising missile off the foot of Kroos in minute 61, the ball ricocheting off the crossbar and over the goal line.

Celta did little with their possession advantage over the remainder of the contest, falling further behind on a goal by Vazquez in the 79th minute.

With the game well out of reach, 18-year-old youth-academy product Iker Losada finally got the home side on the board when he beat Courtois with a cross-shot in the 91st minute, three minutes after entering the game in place of Fernandez.

The story of the match though was Bale, who got the start in part because newly acquired star forward Eden Hazard was unavailable due to a thigh injury and made the most of that chance.

"Before the game we talked two or three times to say that he's going to stay. With the game Gareth had, now we just need to think about the season. I think he and everyone else now are thinking about playing and staying," Zidane said afterward.

The head coach had indicated in the offseason that Bale was not being factored into Real Madrid's plans for 2019-2020.

The Welshman had missed several friendlies after his expected move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning fell through when the transfer deal was blocked by Real Madrid President Florentino Perez.


1 - Celta Vigo: Ruben Blanco; Kevin Vazquez, David Costas, Nestor Araujo, Lucas Olaza; Brais Mendez, Fran Beltran (Pape Cheikh, min. 83), Stanislav Lobotka (Pione Sisto, min.74), Denis Suarez; Iago Aspas and Gabriel Fernandez (Iker Losada, m. 88).

3 - Real Madrid: Thibaut Courtois; Alvaro Odriozola, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Marcelo; Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Luka Modric; Gareth Bale (Isco min. 74), Vinicius Junior (Lucas Vazquez, min. 68) and Karim Benzema (Luka Jovic, min. 82).

Goals: 0-1, m.11: Benzema. 0-2, m. 61: Kroos. 0-3, m. 79: Lucas Vazquez. 1-3, m. 91: Iker Losada.

Referee: Javier Estrada Fernandez. Showed a red card to Modric (min. 55). Showed a yellow card to Celta Vigo's Kevin Vazquez, Ruben Blanco, Iago Aspas, Gabriel Fernandez and David Costas and Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior.

A La Liga Matchday 1 contest that was played at Balaidos Municipal Stadium in front of 23,566 spectators. EFE-EPA

News history
Marquez earns doubly valuable victory in San Marino

By Juan Antonio Llados

Spain claims gold at Basketball World Cup after thrashing Argentina

Beijing, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- Spain basketball men's national team won Sunday its second FIBA World Cup crown after overcoming Argentina 95-75 in the final...

Maradona makes stumbling debut as Gimnasia coach

Buenos Aires, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Diego Maradona had a bitter first outing as the new coach for Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, falling to Racing Club 2-1...

Marquez tops Quartararo in thrilling end to San Marino MotoGP

Misano Adriatico, Italy, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- Spaniard Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC 213 V) on Sunday prevailed over Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha YZR M...

Bodybuilding gains ground in Gaza

Palestinian bodybuilders were competing in a fitness championship in Gaza City on Sunday. Over 70 gyms have been set up in Gaza in just over a decade as...

France grabs basketball World Cup bronze from Australia

Beijing, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- The national men's basketball team of France earned Sunday the bronze medal in the FIBA World Cup held in China at the expense...

Suzuki earns his maiden Moto3 victory at San Marino

Misano Adriatico, Italy, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- Japanese rider Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) on Sunday earned his maiden victory at Misano's World Circuit Marco...

Real Sociedad downs Atletico 2-0 in new stadium, Barca routs Valencia 5-2

San Sebastian, Spain, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- The fiesta celebrating Real Sociedad's new stadium - formerly Anoeta, now Reale Arena - was complete as the home...

Man City stunned by Norwich, fall 5 points behind league-leading Liverpool

Norwich, England, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Two-time defending champion Manchester City find themselves five points behind league-leading Liverpool after stumbling...

Close battle expected between surprise FIBA World Cup finalists

Beijing, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Argentina and Spain will face off on Sunday at Beijing's Wukesong Sport Arena for the FIBA Basketball World Cup title, a clash...

Gimnasia y Esgrima ready for Maradona's much-anticipated debut

By Sebastian Meresman

Viñales snatches pole position from Espargaro for San Marino MotoGP

Misano Adriatico, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Spanish rider Maverick Viñales of Yamaha snatched pole position from his compatriot Pol Espargaro of KTM ahead of the...

Benzema leads Madrid to 3-2 win over Levante

Madrid, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid on Saturday prevailed over Levante 3-2 and earned its first home-league win of the season on the strength of a brace...

Quartararo sets the pace in 3rd practice session ahead of San Marino MotoGP

Misano Adriatico, Italy, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- France's Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha YZR M 1) on Saturday topped his Spanish teammate Maverick Viñales in the third...

Australia seeks to bag historic bronze against powerful France

Beijing, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- The national men's basketball teams of Australia and France are set to put up a tenacious fight over the weekend as the two...

France out, Argentina to play Spain in Basketball World Cup final

Beijing, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Argentina booked a place in the Basketball World Cup final in China on Friday after defeating France 80-66.

Inspired Areola hopes for a great season with Real Madrid

Madrid, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- France goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was thrilled during his presentation as a Real Madrid player on Friday for getting to wear the...

Soccer and language lessons help young refugees integrate in Belgium

By Laura Zornoza

Kobe Bryant: Days of US Dream Team are over

Beijing, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Kobe Bryant said that the days of America's 1992 Barcelona Olympics "Dream Team" are over, at a Basketball World Cup press...

Spain reaches basketball world cup final after win over Australia

Beijing, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Spain beat Australia and went through to the Basketball World Cup final in China after a double overtime Friday.

Mourinho: "Messi made me a better coach"

By Luis Villarejo

Zinedine Zidane says Eden Hazard is ready for Real Madrid debut

Madrid, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane said Friday that Belgium forward Eden Hazard is prepared to debut with the Spanish club...

Alonso teams up with Coma in Lichtenburg 400

Madrid, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Spanish two-time Formula 1 World Champion, Fernando Alonso, will pair up with five-time Dakar Rally winner in the motorbike...

Tokyo Olympics organizers test artificial snow machines to beat the heat

Tokyo, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- The organizing committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games used artificial snow machines on Friday to test their...

I agree Welcome to We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.