Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Two-goal Gareth Bale shows why Real Madrid paid £86m

Gareth Bale enjoys his opening goal for Real Madrid

Gareth Bale answered his critics in style as Real Madrid hammered Sevilla 7-3 at the Bernebeu last night.

The £86m Welsh wing wizard curled one in the top corner from inside the penalty after 14 minutes of the clash to thrill the home crowds and then doubled his side's lead with a deflected free-kick.

A Cristiano Ronaldo penalty made it 3-0 but the visitors fought back to leave the score 3-2 with the first half not even over.

Bale then assisted a goal each for Ronaldo and Benzema to make it 5-3, before Ronaldo – no doubt eager to upstage the man who took his title of the world's most expensive player – completed his hat-trick and Benzema added another.

The result comes as good news for ex-Spurs man Bale, who has been under increasing pressure to deliver with a host of former Madrid players and legends speaking in the media about his struggling start to life at the club.

However, with his goals, he will now have likely bought himself some time among the doubters – and will hope they can be a springboard to a successful season.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti had earlier called for patience as Real Madrid fans wait to see the best of Bale following his record-breaking summer move to the Bernabéu.

Ancelotti knows the 24-year-old – named earlier this week in the Fifa shortlist for the Ballon d'Or on the strength of his Tottenham performances – was not firing on all cylinders in previous games for the Spanish giants but has pointed out that new players need to time to acclimatise to a new club and country.

"It's true that in recent games he hasn't done extraordinary things, but a player who arrives at a new team, in a new culture, needs a lot more time to adapt," Ancelotti told the Spanish radio station Cadena Cope.

"The problem the player has is of adaptation. It's not the same to play in Spain as in England."

Bale knows that now.