Former Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale struggled to shine in El Clasico.
Former Tottenham Hotspur star Gareth Bale did little to silence the media critics as he was once again off colour during Real Madrid’s 2-1 Clasico defeat at Barcelona.
The Catalan giants' 2-1 win condemned Madrid to their third defeat in four matches in all competitions, a run which has seen Carlo Ancelotti’s side blasted by the Spanish media.
Players such as Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos, Isco and former Spurs man Luka Modric can all hold their heads high due to their consistently good performance.
However, players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are always targets for criticism, no more so than the latter due to his arrival at Madrid as the world’s most expensive player in history.
Bale was president Florentino Perez’s first choice, therefore Madrid’s recent poor form has seen the White Hart Lane idol become a scapegoat – although his own performances aren’t helping his cause.
Last weekend’s double was the Wales international’s first goals in nine matches in all competitions and served as a reminder to what he is capable of.
Unfortunately for Bale, that game against struggling Levante pales in comparison with El Clasico, and in the club’s most important match of the season to date he struggled badly.
|Shots on Target||Key Passes||Take-ons||Touches||Pass Success %||Tackles||Interceptions||Mins Played|
As per the table above, the athletic winger only registered one effort in the 90 minutes – a shot he dragged wastefully wide following a scramble inside the Barcelona penalty area.
In a game where the use of the ball was so important, Bale once again proved his inability to pick the right pass on a consistent basis as he maintained a disappointingly low 57% pass success rate.
With the general consensus in Spanish media suggesting the 24-year-old is laboured and unwilling to defend, with just two tackles and one interception he did little to allay such flak.
The encounter itself was a classic case of ‘a game of two halves’ as the first was dominated by Los Blancos before the hosts wrestled control in the second period and laid siege to Iker Casillas’ goal.
Amid the Catalan outfit's second-half dominance, the Madrid side were crying out for some composure but in Bale and Ronaldo they ultimately found two players badly out of form and lacking inspiration.