For the second La Liga game running, Welshman Gareth Bale bailed out Spanish giants Real Madrid, netting that winning goal that kept Real Madrid in the title race after beating Real Sociedad 1 – 0 on Saturday 30 April at the Anoeta.
A Real Madrid side without key players, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Marcelo was sluggish for the better part of the afternoon and it took Bale’s class to lead the team upfront as Sociedad provided very little threat going forward.
Bale had a header on 14 minutes go overboard from a corner while James Rodriguez missed the target after fine interplay on 15 minutes and another good chance ten minutes later, failing to make full use of the chance handed to him after complaining of little game time.
A frustrating first half culminated in a booking for Bale for hacking into Aritz Elustondo and Bale had a big miss on the 57th minute when a cross from James was not well cleared.
Bale, with the net gaping, did not choose his spot well and his low shot was cleared by Elustondo and five minutes later a frustrated Nacho was handed a yellow card that would rule him out of the Valencia game.
The joy came for Real Madrid on 79 minutes when Lucas Vasquez crossed in for Bale to rise high over Elustondo to head home the only goal of the game. His celebration, running all the way to the bench, told it all as Real rose to the top of the table, at least until Atletico Madrid and Barca play later in the day.