Gareth Bale backs Real Madrid to get back to their best after Champions League victory over Roma

Bale has so far failed to step into the sizeable shoes left by Ronaldo. (AFP)
Updated 28 November 2018
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Gareth Bale backs Real Madrid to get back to their best after Champions League victory over Roma

  • Real have endured a terrible start to the La Liga season, already losing five matches.
  • The capital club, however, are finding form in Europe and have sealed top spot in Group G.

ROME: Gareth Bale has borne the brunt of criticism for Real Madrid’s recent decline but the Welsh forward hopes Tuesday’s 2-0 win at Roma to seal top spot in Champions League Group G can act as the catalyst to turn their faltering campaign around.
The 29-year-old has failed to score in his last nine league appearances and came in for scathing criticism following Saturday’s stunning 3-0 loss at Eibar, the three-times defending European champions fifth league defeat of the season.
He gave the ball away 20 times against the Basque side and registered just one shot on goal, with an online survey by Spanish newspaper Marca revealing Real fans did not want him to start in the Italian capital.
Rather like his team, though, he rose to the occasion in the Champions League and after a mixed first-half display, Bale broke the deadlock with his third goal in four European outings, later helping set up Lucas Vazquez to seal victory.
“The manager told us at halftime we needed to keep playing the way we know. And in the second half, we played very well, played the ball like we normally do. We got some confidence back and need to build on that now,” Bale said.
“We know obviously the start of the season was not exactly as we would like. We need to keep working hard together as a team to get the performances and get the results ... and get back up the table in the league.”
Bale has largely failed to fill the huge void left by Cristiano Ronaldo as Real have toiled domestically, sitting sixth in the La Liga and registering their worst goal difference after 13 league games in 18 years, scoring 20 and conceding 19.
He admitted to feeling disappointed with how the season has gone since the Portuguese talisman left to join Juventus.
“It has been a bit of a turbulent start to the season but we have to keep fighting every game no matter what position we are in. That is football, it can be frustrating sometimes when things are not quite coming off,” he added.
“But I know from experience you just have to keep working hard, together as a team, and we did that today.”


Chelsea moves into top 4 after draw with Burnley

Updated 23 April 2019
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Chelsea moves into top 4 after draw with Burnley

  • Chelsea moves into the final Champions League qualifying spot

LONDON: Chelsea moved into the Premier League’s top four on Monday with a frustrating 2-2 draw with Burnley.
Goals two minutes apart from N’Golo Kante and Gonzalo Higuain put Chelsea on top at Stamford Bridge after Jeff Hendrick had given Burnley an early lead.
But Ashley Barnes pulled the visitors even in the 24th minute and Chelsea was unable to get the winner despite dominating possession and finishing with 22 shots.
Chelsea moves into the final Champions League qualifying spot, one point above Arsenal and three ahead of Manchester United, but has played one game more.
Burnley, meanwhile, all but guaranteed its Premier League status for another season.
The Clarets are nine points above Cardiff in the final relegation place with three games left and have a far superior goal difference.