Bale on the money again
Welshman continues to justify new bumper contract
REAL MADRID 3
(Gareth Bale 38, 45, Alvaro Morata 76)
Gareth Bale celebrated his megabucks new deal with a brace as Real Madrid beat Leganes 3-0, but city rivals Atletico Madrid slipped up as a pair of penalties saw them fall to a 2-0 defeat by Real Sociedad.
Bale signed one of the most lucrative deals in football history last Monday to keep him at the European champions until 2021.
The Welshman earned his bumper new wage, reportedly £350,000 ($606,284) a week after tax, as he struck twice in seven first-half minutes before Alvaro Morata added a third 14 minutes from time at the Santiago Bernabeu yesterday.
Real lead La Liga by five points but Barcelona can narrow the gap to just two if they beat Sevilla this morning.
"An easy game doesn't exist and you saw that the first half was difficult for us," said Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.
"Once you score a goal, it is a different game and we controlled the match much more in the second-half."
Bale also scored Real's fastest ever Champions League goal against Legia Warsaw three days after inking his new contract, but his fine strike in the Polish capital was forgotten as Real blew a two-goal lead to draw 3-3.
Spanish media reports yesterday suggest Ronaldo is on the verge of sealing his own mega contract extension at Real.
However, he endured another frustrating afternoon as he was kept scoreless for the fifth time in eight La Liga appearances this season.
The Portuguese has now gone five games without scoring at the Bernabeu - his longest drought since joining Los Blancos seven years ago.
Having failed to register a shot on target, he was also booked early on for taking his protests towards referee Miguel Mateu Lahoz too far.
"There is nothing wrong, he is not worried," said Zidane about Ronaldo's slump in form.
"He looks good, he is motivated, he likes to scores goals, and even more so in this stadium, but he is calm."
Real will travel to the Vicente Calderon to face Atletico in a rematch of the Champions League final after the international break on Nov 19.
But they prepared in the worst possible way as Carlos Vela and Willian Jose scored from the spot to give Sociedad a 2-0 win at the Anoeta.
"We don't look for excuses," said Atletico coach Diego Simeone.
"The opponents prepared well and played very well in the second half."
Despite the loss, fullback Juanfran believes Atletico will win the Madrid Derby. He said: "There are no excuses. They played better and that's all.
"We have more time to prepare for an important game, lift our heads.
"I am sure we will win at home."
- Wire Services.
- Malaga 3 Sporting Gijon 2
- Granada 1 Deportivo La Coruna 1
- Osasuna 0 Alaves 1
- Las Palmas 1 Eibar 0.