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Gareth Bale put in a good display in the UEFA Super Cup final but was unable to rescue Real Madrid as they fell to a 4-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid in extra-time.
Diego Costa opened the scoring early on before Bale’s sumptuous cross saw Karim Benzema equalise. Sergio Ramos put Los Blancos ahead from the spot but Costa’s second restored parity.
Saul Niguez and Koke then secured the win for Diego Simeone’s side in extra-time.
Here’s a closer look at Bale’s performance.
Assists – 1
Shots – 1
Shots on target – 0
Touches – 77
Passes – 53
Key passes – 3
Pass success – 79.3%
Dribbles – 3
Dispossessed – 3
Bale started on the right side of a 4-2-3-1 system and despite having the freedom to cut inside from the flank, he did manage to generate genuine width for his side in attack. His work rate and powerful running saw Lucas Hernandez struggling to cope as the Welshman regularly made inroads into Atletico’s defence. He looked threatening through the middle as well when he went more central in the second half.
Acceleration – He’s pushing 30 but those afterburners seem to be working just fine. His burst of pace to storm past Hernandez before setting up Benzema was sensational and a couple more surges followed.
Creating chances – ‘Main man’ he may be but Bale is hardly selfish. His delivery for Benzema was sublime and crossed well for Marcelo too only for the Brazilian to misjudge his acrobatic effort.
Movement – Bale was deadly when he found space in wide areas but he may have missed a trick by not making more diagonal runs in behind to take the defence by surprise.
Shooting – The former Tottenham star has a stinging shot on him, Loris Karius will certainly attest to that. He only had one shot over 120 minutes and should be testing the keeper more.
There was little he could do once his side seemed to run out of steam. Another good performance from Bale as he continued his form from pre-season. If he is to be recognised as Cristiano Ronaldo’s successor though, ‘good’ won’t cut it. We know he’s capable of the extraordinary but how often can he produce it?
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