Bale nets double in Madrid win
BARCELONA, Spain (AP):
Gareth Bale scored twice to help Real Madrid start the Spanish league with a 3-0 victory at Real Sociedad, while Atletico Madrid were held 1-1 after
conceding a last-gasp goal to Alaves yesterday.
Bale, who guided Wales to the semi-finals of the European Championship in July, led a Madrid side that was on the road for their Liga opener without Cristiano Ronaldo and several other first-choice players.
His second-minute header set Madrid on their way to a comfortable win that youngster Marco Asensio put beyond doubt with his second goal in as many matches for the reigning European champions.
Bale wrapped up his brace by scoring in the closing seconds of the one-sided game at Anoeta Stadium.
"(Bale) began in the best way possible by quickly scoring a goal," Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane said. "He has said that this season is important for him and he is showing it. We needed to begin the league well."
Madrid matched Barcelona's victory, a 6-2 rout of Real Betis, on Saturday.
Atletico fell two points behind the powerhouses right out of the gates of what they hope to make a three-way championship race for a fourth straight year.
Diego Simeone's side dominated Alaves, hitting the woodwork twice and peppering the visitors' goalmouth with a barrage of shots that only increased as the match went on.
Kevin Gameiro appeared to have secured the win in his debut for Atletico after he converted a stoppage-time penalty, which was earned by Fernando Torres when he was fouled by Victor Laguardia.
But Alaves' Manu Garcia stunned Atletico with a long-distance strike seconds before the whistle in just his team's second venture forward.
Elsewhere, Sporting Gijon beat visiting Athletic Bilbao 2-1.