Zidane praises ‘spectacular’ Bale

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale scored Real’s 81st-minute winner

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale was “phenomenal” in their 3-2 comeback win over Rayo Vallecano, according to coach Zinedine Zidane.

Bale scored twice as Real came from 2-0 down to remain within one point of La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Madrid were without Cristiano Ronaldo through injury, while Karim Benzema went off late in the first half.

“Bale is a spectacular footballer and he demonstrated that by scoring a decisive goal,” said Zidane.

“He has not been fit for long, but physically he was good. I’m very happy with him and he’s very happy for being able to make the difference.

“More than his two goals, he did both offensive and defensive work very well.

“He improved physically as the game went on, which is important for him and the team. He had a little discomfort, but he was phenomenal.”

Real Madrid visit Manchester City on Tuesday in the Champions League semi-final first leg.

“Cristiano will travel to Manchester. We’re going to assess Benzema. All that I can say is that it’s not a knock,” said Zidane.

“I hope that it’s nothing serious and that he’ll be available for Tuesday. Right now I can’t tell you any more than that.”

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