2019-2020 LaLiga
  • Karim Benzema (37')
  • Federico Valverde (47')
  • Luka Modric (74')
  • Willian José (2')

Real Madrid beat Real Sociedad as Gareth Bale jeered over banner

Gareth Bale was jeered loudly by the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium crowd when he went on as a late substitute in Real Madrid's 3-1 comeback win over Real Sociedad in La Liga action on Saturday.

Madrid's supporters expressed their anger for Bale's peculiar celebration after helping Wales qualify for the European Championships this week. The images of Bale dancing and laughing behind a banner that read "Wales. Golf. Madrid. In That Order" were not well received in the Spanish capital.

Bale was booed every time he touched the ball, including before his cross that was headed down by Karim Benzema for Luka Modric to put the result beyond doubt in the 74th minute.

Afterward, Bale also received some applause for his good play.

Just like in the pre-game news conference, coach Zinedine Zidane did not criticize Bale's jibe at the club.

"I hope [it won't be a problem]. What we want is our fans to be with us from beginning to end," Zidane said. "But we can't control that. They have the right to do what they want. We won't focus on the whistles. What's more, Bale had a really good 25 minutes."

"I can't tell you what's fair or unfair. Everyone can have their opinion. The important thing is us, what we need is our fans. Neither I nor Gareth nor anyone can control it.

"This has happened to all the best players. Now it's happening to Gareth. He got into the game well. It's happened to everyone here, and it will happen to many more. You have to keep working and show it on the pitch."

The win kept Madrid in second place, level on points with Barcelona, which leads the league on goal difference.

Sociedad's pressure led to a goal two minutes after kickoff. Willian Jose poached a poor back pass by Sergio Ramos for goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois that the Sociedad striker easily picked up and put into the empty net.

Martin Odegaard, who is playing for Sociedad on loan from Madrid, along with fellow midfielder Mikel Merino and winger Mikel Oyarzabal took the initiative from the start with their passing attack that easily slipped the hosts' attempts to press.

But Madrid weathered a vibrant first half hour by Sociedad before Benzema chested in a corner kick from Modric to level in the 37th.

"He looks good to me. He played well today and since the start of the season," Zidane said of Odegaard. "He brings something technically to his team. He's a Real Sociedad player right now."

Federico Valverde's deflected shot put Madrid ahead two minutes into a second half that was a riveting exchange of attacking waves by both sides until Modric scored Madrid's third goal.

Sociedad, one of the league's surprise sides, was left in fifth place at five points back. Madrid hosts Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Spanish Primera División Standings

1 Atletico Madrid 23 +29 55
2 Real Madrid 24 +23 52
3 Sevilla FC 23 +18 48
4 Barcelona 23 +28 47
5 Real Sociedad 24 +21 41
6 Villarreal 24 +8 37
7 Real Betis 24 -6 36
8 Levante 24 +1 31
9 Granada 24 -12 30
10 Athletic Bilbao 23 +6 29
11 Celta Vigo 24 -7 29
12 Valencia 24 -2 27
13 Osasuna 24 -11 25
14 Cádiz 24 -19 25
15 Getafe 24 -13 24
16 Alavés 24 -18 22
17 Eibar 24 -8 21
18 Elche 22 -11 21
19 Real Valladolid 24 -13 21
20 Huesca 24 -14 19