Bale brace fires Madrid to 5-0 win, as Vermaelen strike gives Barca 3pts

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Real Madrid’s Welsh forward Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring his second goal during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs Real Betis Balompie at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on August 29, 2015 (AFP Photo/Pierre-Philippe Marcou)
Madrid (AFP) – Gareth Bale silenced his critics by scoring twice as Rafael Benitez got his first win as Real Madrid coach with a 5-0 thrashing of Real Betis.
Madrid remain two points behind Barcelona as Thomas Vermaelen was the unlikely hero for the European champions as they overcame stiff resistence from Malaga to win 1-0 at the Camp Nou.
Benitez’s men had been held to an embarrassing 0-0 draw by newly promoted Sporting Gijon last weekend, but there was to be no repeat as Bale headed home James Rodriguez’s cross inside two minutes.
Rodriguez then fired an audacious free-kick from a narrow angle into the far corner of the net to double the advantage seven minutes before the break.
Bale turned provider at the start of the second period for Karim Benzema to head home the third before Rodriguez produced another spectacular effort with an overhead kick to make it 4-0.
Betis had a great opportunity to at least mark their visit to the Bernabeu with a consolation when Raphael Varane was penalised for upending Jorge Molina.
However, Keylor Navas made the most of his opportunity despite the ongoing speculation that Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea could join Madrid in the coming days by diving low to his left to save Ruben Castro’s penalty.
And Bale had the final word with a fierce left-footed effort that clipped the post on its way into the net.
At the Camp Nou, Vermaelen succeeded where Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar failed as he fired the only goal of the game past the excellent Carlos Kameni 18 minutes from time.
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Source:: PM Newspaper