The Real deal

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

GARETH BALE scored his first Euro­pean goal in al­most two years as hold­ers Real Madrid moved into a com­mand­ing po­si­tion in Cham­pi­ons League Group F af­ter cruis­ing to a 5-1 vic­tory over Legia War­saw yes­ter­day.

Bale gave the hosts the lead in the 16th minute with a curled left-foot drive and an own goal by Legia’s To­masz Jod­lowiec, de­flect­ing in Marcelo’s shot, dou­bled their ad­van­tage.

Miroslav Radovic pulled one back for the Poles from the penalty spot but Marco Asen­sio made it 3-1 in the 37th minute with a low shot on his Cham­pi­ons League de­but.

Sub­sti­tute Lu­cas Vazquez volleyed home a cross in the 68th minute and for­mer Ju­ven­tus striker Al­varo Mo­rata rounded off the win by con­vert­ing a pass from Cris­tiano Ron­aldo in the 84th.

Real are sec­ond in Group F, level on seven points with Borussia Dort­mund, and both teams will seal their place in the last 16 if Zine­dine Zi­dane’s side win at Legia and the Ger­mans beat Sport­ing Lis­bon at home on Nov. 2.

“I’m happy with the re­sult, with the goals and the per­for­mance,” Zi­dane told BeIN sports. “Of course we can im­prove, our ob­jec­tive was to play very at­tack­ing foot­ball and we took risks, con­ced­ing a few chances, but the im­por­tant thing was to win and ac­cu­mu­late points, and that’s what we did.”

There was trou­ble out­side the San­ti­ago Bern­abeu sta­dium be­fore kick­off, with five sup­port­ers and two po­lice of­fi­cers suf­fer­ing mi­nor in­juries, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal me­dia re­ports.

On the pitch, Legia nearly caused the hold­ers an early sur­prise with Jod­lowiec shoot­ing straight at Key­lor Navas and mid­fielder Vadis Od­jidja hit­ting the post.

Real took the lead soon af­ter though, Bale cut­ting in­side from the right to strike into the far cor­ner for his first Euro­pean goal since De­cem­ber 2014.

Jod­lowiec turned in Marcelo’s shot soon af­ter but a foul by Real de­fender Danilo al­lowed Radovic to re­duce the deficit from 11 me­tres and net Legia’s first Cham­pi­ons League goal for 21 years.

Twenty-year-old winger Marco Asen­sio built on his im­pres­sive start to his Real ca­reer by net­ting his fourth goal of the sea­son af­ter be­ing teed up by Ron­aldo.

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