Saturday, 14 September 2013.
Real Madrid's new record signing Welsh winger Gareth Bale got off to the perfect start for the Gelactico's yesterday as he netted on his debut (along with Cristiano Ronaldo) to earn his team a two all draw against high flyers Villarreal.
Villarreal, who won promotion to La Liga last season held an identical record to there opponents of three wins out of three coming into this fixture, despite this the Madrid faithful were still expected to bring home maximum points and challenge the league leaders which they failed to do so last season. With Jose Mourinho now at Chelsea the reigns have been firmly handed over to Carlo Ancelotti who once reigned over Stamford Bridge also.
The hosts possessed fluid football which sprung back memories of there 2006 Champions League year when they finished as semi-finals but have now hit a demoralising low. However there promotion should re-kindle such a feat and they will no doubt be amongst the elite of Europe in a few years to come.
Cani had put the home side ahead in the first half. The Real defence struggled to contain pair Bruno and Jonathan Pereira who mugged the back four before allowing Cani to slot home. Bale and Ronaldo then got on the score-sheet for Madrid but Giovani dos Santos who has been heavily linked to Barcelona levelled with 20 minutes remaing to end this entertaining game with a flourish.
The Welsh wizard was positioned to help supply in a three man midfield (along with Ronaldo and Isco) who would in turn supply the lonely Karim Benzema in attack. He scored after collecting a Dani Carvajal cross before getting the better of Mario Gasper and cooly chipped the ball into the net before wheeling away in celebration and being mobbed by his new team mates.
On 61 minutes Bale was substituted and replaced by Angel di Maria who was considered doubtful prior to the start of the match through injury. The visitors then went ahead after Ronaldo scored a bizarre goal three minutes later when his initial shot cannoned off a defenders back before bouncing back onto his foot and the ball ricocheted into the net.
The goal was unfortunate for the hosts to concede as they looked impressive and never looked to deserve to be a goal behind, but showed great strength and agility in getting back into this game despite being denied a hat full of chances following excellent saves from Diego Lopez.
They were level on 70 minutes when Dos Santos effort crept into the net off the Madrid stopper - it was all that they deserved for there troubles.
VILLARREAL 2 REAL MADRID 2