La Liga wrap: Former Spurs star Gareth Bale fires Madrid to win
Former Tottenham winger Gareth Bale scores in Real Madrid's 5-1 win against Rayo Vallecano
Bale makes goalscoring return in Real rout
Much had been made about Gareth Bale’s return from injury and his subsequent role in Carlo Ancelotti’s all-conquering Galacticos, but the Welshman started and scored as Real Madrid beat Rayo Vallecano 5-1. With Isco and James Rodriguez feeding Ronaldo and Karim Benzema so successfully in the absence of the world’s most-expensive player, Bale answered some critics by tapping in the opener after ten minutes. Another player returning from injury then made it 2-0 as Sergio Ramos notched his 50th Madrid goal, before Alberto Bueno pulled one back before half-time. Toni Kroos and Benzema then blitzed Rayo shortly after the interval, and Ronaldo scored in his 10th successive La Liga game to make it 5-1 on the night he received the European Golden Boot. After scoring his 23rd in all competitions, he might well be on course for another.
No goal for Suarez but Uruguayan digs Barca out of a hole
Starting from the bench against Almeria, Luis Suarez was summoned as Barcelona looked to be heading for another shock defeat, but helped tee up Neymar and Jordi Alba to correct their La Liga slide. Thievy Bifouma had given Almeria, yet to win at home this season, the lead but Luis Enrique brought Suarez and Neymar from the bench to bring Barca back into the game and title race. The Uruguayan almost added another himself, but struck the crossbar with a fierce drive, meaning his wait will last at least another fortnight following the international break. The same can be said for Lionel Messi who is one goal shy of the La Liga scoring record. He, too, was thwarted by the woodwork (twice) and has not scored in three successive games. Barca need to correct their form when La Liga resumes in a fortnight.
Sociedad return to form against Atletico ahead of managerial announcement
Goals from Carlos Vela and Imanol Agirretxe helped Real Sociedad break their winless run against Atletico Madrid, surely impressing their soon-to-be appointed manager. David Moyes has been strongly linked with the job in Northern Spain, though Pepe Mel is another man in the frame for the job. Neither were present for the game on Sunday evening as Sociedad put in a composed performance against an ill-disciplined Atleti side. Mario Mandzukic converted from Raul Garcia’s inch-perfect cross to open the scoring, but Sociedad fought back through Vela. The Mexican was then unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when he was taken down by Diego Godin. Sociedad persisted however, and when Guilherme Siqueira received two quick bookings, they took their chance. Agirretxe nodded the Basque side ahead with eight minutes left as Atletico put in an unusually slack defensive performance, missing the chance to go second in the table as Sociedad climb out of the bottom three. Whether or not Moyes will again be ‘the chosen one’, he will have been impressed by Sociedad’s resolve on Sunday.
Cordoba miss golden chance to win first game
Still yet to win this season, Cordoba failed to take full advantage at home to Deportivo on Friday night, missing a penalty in their 0-0 draw. Not only that, but Deportivo were forced to play most of the match with 10 men after Helder Postiga, who earlier conceded the penalty, received a second booking after just 29 minutes. However, Cordoba were booed off at the final whistle after barely troubling Depor’s defence as new manager Mario Djukic struggles to change matters at the newly promoted side. Surely they will have fewer better opportunities to collect their first three points this season as they remain glued to the bottom of the league.