La Liga round-up: Bale gets Real Madrid up and running

Date published: Monday 22nd August 2016 9:09

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale’s brace helped Real Madrid start their season with a 3-0 victory at Real Sociedad.

The Wales forward clearly enjoys playing in San Sebastian, and has now scored five times in four visits to the Estadio Anoeta since his transfer to the Spanish capital in the summer of 2013.

His first was a bullet header from a Dani Carvajal cross in the second minute and he scored a second deep in injury time at the end of the game as he took the ball around home goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli and slotted home.

In between, 20-year-old midfielder Marco Asensio scored with a cool finish, lofting the ball over Rulli after a long ball caused confusion in the Real Sociedad defence five minutes before the break.

It may not have been quite as emphatic an opening as Barcelona’s 6-2 hammering of Real Betis on Saturday but Real coach Zinedine Zidane will have been encouraged by the display from a depleted team missing, among others, injured superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

Earlier on Sunday, Sporting Gijon began their campaign with a 2-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao at El Molinon.

Croatia striker Duje Cop put Sporting in front in the 50th minute and Victor Rodriguez added a quickfire second three minutes later.

Athletic pulled one back through substitute Borja Viguera with four minutes remaining but Sporting held on.

Atletico Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Alaves in extraordinary circumstances at the Vicente Calderon.

Diego Simeone’s side had seen their principal title rivals Real and Barcelona claim maximum points and missed a series of chances before Kevin Gameiro took advantage of a debatable penalty award to put the Rojiblancos ahead in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.

However, they let two points slip from their grasp as Manu was allowed the space to unleash a right-foot rocket two minutes later, which Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who had barely touched the ball owing to Atletico’s total dominance, got nowhere near.

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