Bale powers Real Madrid in first win of post-Ronaldo era
MADRID (AP) Gareth Bale is doing his part to help Real Madrid get over Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure.
Bale scored in Madrid’s Spanish league opener and set up the other goal in a 2-0 win over Getafe on Sunday.
Dani Carvajal also scored for Madrid, which for the first time in nearly a decade started its league campaign without Ronaldo, the club’s greatest goal-scorer.
Bale, who hadn’t played much while Ronaldo was still on the team before he moved to Juventus in the offseason, scored in the 51st minute with a shot from inside the area after a well-placed cross by Marco Asensio.
Bale had already struck the crossbar with a 16th-minute header, and a few minutes later he provided the cross that led to Carvajal’s goal after Getafe goalkeeper David Soria failed to fully clear the ball.
Bale didn’t have many chances as a starter under coach Zinedine Zidane, but is likely to gain a bigger role as new manager Julen Lopetegui deals with Ronaldo’s absence and the lack of major signings by the club.
Bale received a loud ovation by the crowd at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium when he was substituted by Lucas Vazquez in the 77th minute.
Madrid started its season with a loss to city rival Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup final. It was only third in the league last season, behind Atletico and champion Barcelona.