Gareth Bale makes Madrid home debut, but Real crash to derby defeat

Real Madrid Bernabeu

The world’s most expensive footballer could not prevent Carlo Ancelotti’s side from slipping to defeat against cross-town rivals Atletico.

Gareth Bale made his long-anticipated Real Madrid home debut on Saturday, but could not prevent his new side from losing 1-0 to cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid.

The Wales international attacker moved to the Santiago Bernabeu for a world-record €100 million during the transfer window, and scored on his debut against Villarreal in a 2-2 draw. The capital city crowd were set to get a glimpse of the former Tottenham man against Getafe last week, but the star picked up a thigh strain ahead of the clash.

Bale was introduced at the start of the second-half, replacing Angel di Maria. However, like the entire Madrid side, the Welshman suffered a frustrating evening and was unable to make the required impact to avoid defeat.

The in-form Diego Costa netted for the visitors on 11 minutes, making it eight goals in seven games for Atletico’s Brazilian striker. The visitors took advantage of a mistake by Di Maria, with Koke creating the chance for Costa, who rifled his effort past Diego Lopez in the home goal.

Koke had a chance to kill the game off in the second half, but saw his effort ricochet off the Madrid crossbar with Lopez beaten.

The win for Atletico makes it seven victories from seven games in a perfect start to the campaign for Diego Simeone’s men. The Vicente Calderon outfit are joined on top of the table by Barcelona, who also have had a perfect start to the new campaign.

Madrid sit five points adrift of the pair in third place, with 16 points from their first seven games.

For Atletico, it was the first time that they have beaten their arch rivals in the league this century. Simeone’s men were triumphant against Real in the Copa del Rey final at the end of last season, but had lost the ten clashes with their illustrious rivals before this.

In fact, Madrid had won 20 of 25 meetings against Atletico before the Copa del Rey victory, with five draws. Atletico’s last win against Real was back in June 1999, where Los Colchoneros beat the Santiago Bernabeu side 3-1.

For Bale, he will look to get back to full match fitness over coming weeks and try to command a starting berth in the Madrid side.

Ancelotti’s team host FC Copenhagen in the Champions League on Wednesday, before travelling to take on Levante in La Liga next weekend.

image: © cogocogo

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