After his very poor Clasico performance, albeit with mitigating circumstances (played at centre forward), all eyes were on Gareth Bale tonight as Real Madrid boss Ancelotti kept faith with the struggling Welshman.
Played in his more natural postion as part of the trident behind striker Benzema, alongside Isco and Ronaldo, Bale played like a new man, unshackled from the pressures and critics surrounding him.
And with 13 minutes on the clock, he had the ball in the back of the net to get Madrid up and running; but just as importantly with hist first goal in the white of Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
And with that the shackles were well and truly off, as Bale began to play his game.
He scored his second soon after -albeit fortuitously, courtesy of a wicked deflection on his free-kick, but he rightly emphatically claimed it with a euphoric celebration.
After tonight’s brace-scoring performance, Bale can breathe easy. The sharks are off his back. For now.
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