Real Madrid 3-1 Real Sociedad: Zinedine Zidane’s men come from behind thanks to goals from Karim Benzema, Federico Valverde and Luka Modric to keep pace with Barcelona at the top of La Liga
Gareth Bale was whistled by Real Madrid supporters in his first game back since his Wales flag celebration and Zinedine Zidane admitted the situation was unsustainable.
‘I hope this does not keep up the whole season,’ said the Real Madrid coach after the treatment of Bale reached a new low in Real Madrid’s 3-1 win.
His name was whistled when it was announced pre-game and he was whistled as he warmed up having been named among the substitutes.
Luka Modric made sure of the points with a left-foot strike as Real Madrid kept pace with Barcelona in La Liga
Federico Valverde scored via a huge deflection to put Real Madrid into a lead early into proceedings in the second half
Karim Benzema drew Zinedine Zidane’s men level eight minutes before half time by chesting in Luka Modric’s cross
He was jeered on to the pitch when he replaced Rodrygo Goes in the second period and his every touch was whistled during the last 20 minutes of the game.
There were even whistles when he crossed for Karim Benzema to nod down to Luka Modric who scored Real Madrid’s third goal.
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Mendy, Valverde (Kroos 76′), Casemiro, Modric (Isco 83′), Hazard, Benzema, Rodrygo (Bale 67′)
Subs not used: Militao, Areola, Marcelo, Jovic
Goalscorers: Benzema 37, Valverde 47, Modric 74
Real Sociedad: Remiro, Zaldua, Elustondo, D. Llorente, Monreal, Zubeldia, Merino, Portu (Januzaj 73), Odegaard, Oyarzabal (Isak 80), Willian Jose
Subs not used: Munoz, Moya, Guevara, Zurutuza, Le Normand
Goalscorers: Willian Jose 2
Zidane added: ‘We want the fans with us but we cannot control this. I want them to applaud all the players. I’m pleased with the win and Gareth did well when he came on.’
If Bale thought his flag gesture might have already been forgotten by the Real Madrid supporters he was left in no doubt that that was not going to be the case from the warm-up. When his name was announced among the substitutes a crescendo of whistles greeted it.
Without him Real Madrid made a bad start to the game when Real Sociedad took the lead after just two minutes after Sergio Ramos played the ball back towards his own goal and straight into the path of Willian Jose who gratefully accepted the gift shooting past Thibaut Courtois.
The Belgian keeper had come into the game on a run of 533 minutes without having conceded but he had been beaten by the first shot he had to face.
Real Sociedad had the best away record in La Liga and the early goal meant they bossed the first 20 minutes with Madrid looking nervous at the back and unable to make any inroads with Rodrygo Goes, picked ahead of Bale, seeing little of the ball.
But just as it seemed Real Sociedad would see out the first 45 minutes without allowing the home side back into the game it fell to Benzema to put Madrid back on level terms.
Real Sociedad took the lead early on when Willian Jose made the most of a Sergio Ramos error for his sixth goal this season
Benzema’s 10th league goal of the season in La Liga drew Real Madrid level at the Bernabeu on Saturday night
Real Sociedad gave away a cheap free-kick wide of the penalty area and from Modric’s delivery Benzema was able to get in front of Diego Llorente and shoulder the ball past Alex Remiro.
Madrid’s tails were up now and Real Sociedad did well to weather the storm and stay on terms into the break. Within three minutes of the second period they were behind when Fede Valverde strode forward and hit a deflected shot past Alex Remiro in the Real Sociead goal.
Real Madrid finished the game strongly and that owed a lot to Bale’s late intervention. He grinned when he came on to another crescendo of whistles and seemed to be motivated by the abuse. His cross created the third goal and he might even have scored a fourth but his cross shot went across the face of the goal.
Gareth Bale was heavily booed as he came on as a second-half substitute after the controversy he created on Wales duty
He showed character and he even turned some of the whistles into applause late on but he still looks to have a mountain to climb if he wants to get supporters back on his side.
He might argue – with some justification – that some of them have never been on his side. Four European Cups have not persuaded them so nothing he does going forward will win them over.
On this form he looks like an obvious choice to start up-front against Paris Saint Germain on Tuesday but Zidane must decide if the atmosphere created by his inclusion hinders the team more than his presence might help the side over come the group leaders.
‘There is too much noise around Bale,’ he added. ‘He wants to be here and he wants to play well for us.’