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Real Madrid v Leganes – story of the match

Gareth Bale sent a timely reminder to Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane by firing home the opening goal as his side overcame Leganes 2-1 at the Bernabeu.Zidane opted to rest a number of big names including Cristiano Ronaldo with this week’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich in mind, and the Welshman made …

Gareth Bale sent a timely reminder to Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane by firing home the opening goal as his side overcame Leganes 2-1 at the Bernabeu.

Zidane opted to rest a number of big names including Cristiano Ronaldo with this week’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich in mind, and the Welshman made the most of his opportunity.

Bale scored an acrobatic opener after just four minutes and Borja Mayoral added a second on the stroke of half-time before Leganes, who had Gabriel sent off after the final whistle, reduced the deficit through Darko Brasanac.

Tweet of the match

Star man – Gareth Bale

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Gareth Bale

Bale stepped out of Ronaldo’s shadow by making an early statement and continuing to press the Leganes defence as Real looked to leave the result beyond down.

Moment of the match

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Karim Benzema

It might not have been the most dramatic bicycle-kick in the business but Bale nevertheless managed to acrobatically turn the ball into the net with just four minutes on the clock after Karim Benzema’s initial effort had fallen helpfully into his path.

View from the bench

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Zinedine Zidane

The LaLiga title may be long gone but Zidane will have been pleased both with Bale’s performance and the way in which his deliberately weakened team repelled a dangerous Leganes unit – and more importantly, appeared to have done so with no injury set-backs ahead of the winner-takes-all clash with Bayern Munich.

Ratings

Real Madrid: Kiko Casilla 7 (out of 10), Jesus Vallejo 6, Theo Hernandez 6, Achraf Hakimi 6, Casemiro 5, Mateo Kovacic 6, Marcos Llorente 7, Dani Ceballos 6, Karim Benzema 7, Gareth Bale 8. Subs: Toni Kroos (for Kovacic, 62) 5, Marco Asensio (for Benzema, 62) 5.

Levante: Pichu Cuellar 6 (out of 10), Dimitrios Slovas 6, Joseba Zaldua 6, Bustinza 5, Diego Rico 5, Nabil El Zhar 6, Ruben Perez 5, Darko Brasanac 7, Gabriel 5, Nordin Amrabat 8, Guerrero 6. Subs: Claudio Beauvue (for Guerrero, 62) 5, Eraso (for Amrabat, 90), Jose Naranjo (for Brasanac, 90).

Who’s up next?

Real Madrid v Bayern Munich, Champions League, Tuesday May 1

Leganes v Levante, La Liga, Monday May 7

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