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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: Bale shines in Real stroll over Getafe

Football Briefs: Bale shines in Real stroll over Getafe

August 20, 2018 08:02 IST

News of all that's transpired on and off the football field

Gareth Bale

IMAGE: Real Madrid's Gareth Bale celebrates scoring. Photograph: Sergio Perez/Reuters

Real Madrid got off to a winning start in La Liga on Sunday by comfortably beating neighbours Getafe 2-0 at home with an inspiring performance from Gareth Bale in the European champions' first league game in the post Cristiano Ronaldo era.

Bale crashed a diving header against the crossbar early on, then helped to set up Dani Carvajal's looping header which broke the deadlock in the 20th minute, wrapping up the points with a powerful first-time finish early in the second half.

 

The Wales forward was given a standing ovation by the home supporters in his first competitive game back at the Santiago Bernabeu since scoring twice in the 3-1 win over Liverpool in the Champions League final.

The result lifts the pressure on new coach Julen Lopetegui after Wednesday's painful 4-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup and sees Real join champions Barcelona on three points after one game, although Sevilla lead the standings on goal difference after their 4-1 win at Rayo Vallecano.

Sevilla forward Andre Silva became the first player since Romario in 1993 to bag a hat-trick in his La Liga debut, helping Sevilla to thrash Rayo and scoring the first goal to be awarded in the Spanish top flight with the use of video technology (VAR).

Top-flight debutants Huesca sprang a surprise by winning 2-1 at Eibar.

"It was very important to make a strong start with good sensations and we played very well; we have to go little by little but this is the right way to start the league season," Real winger Marco Asensio told reporters.

"Cristiano has left but we have a good team. We are working hard, you saw that reflected on the pitch today and this is the way to continue."

Lopetegui again chose Costa Rica international Keylor Navas in goal ahead of 30-million-euro ($34.31-million) signing Thibaut Courtois and fielded Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos over Luka Modric, who was also left out of the starting line-up in the Super Cup game but came on in the second half.

Real monopolised the ball with a staggering 78 percent of possession and barely conceded a chance to Getafe, who picked up seven yellow cards as they desperately tried to halt Real's frequent attacks.

Real's first clear chance came when Marcelo picked out Bale with a searching cross and the Wales forward dived to meet it but could only head against the bar, missing the chance to score his side's opening goal of the season for a fourth year in a row.

That honour fell to Spain defender Carvajal, who stayed with his feet on the ground to head the loose ball into the top corner after Getafe goalkeeper David Soria had flapped at Bale's cross.

Spanish winger Asensio joined Bale in hitting the woodwork and was also the catalyst for Real's second goal, chasing down Getafe defender Djene Dakonam to win back the ball and cross for Bale to hammer it in off the post.

Franco Vazquez had put Sevilla ahead at Rayo before Silva demonstrated the goalscoring prowess which convinced AC Milan to pay 38 million euros for the Portugal international last season.

Silva, 22, scored only two goals in 24 Serie A appearances before joining Sevilla this month but quickly matched that tally by netting twice before halftime and completed his hat-trick in the 79th minute with another close-range strike.

Dzeko's volley gives Roma late win, Inter stunned

AS Roma striker Edin Dzeko scored with a memorable volleyed goal following a mazy run by debutant Justin Kluivert to give his side a 1-0 win at Torino in their opening Serie A game on Sunday.

New-look Inter Milan, who are harbouring title ambitions and boasted four new signings in their line-up plus Croatia World Cup finalist Marcelo Brozovic, got off on the wrong foot with a shock 1-0 defeat at modest Sassuolo.

Parma, back in the top flight only three years after being declared bankrupt and demoted to the fourth tier, squandered a two-goal lead on their return in a 2-2 draw at home to Udinese.

Dzeko's remarkable goal in the 89th minute was reminiscent of Marco Van Basten's famous effort for the Netherlands in the Euro 1988 final and rewarded Roma for their persistence after they had hit the woodwork three times.

The battling hosts also struck the post and had a goal disallowed.

The game appeared to be heading for a draw until substitute Kluivert, the son of former Barcelona and Netherlands forward Patrick Kluivert, collected the ball in midfield, slipped past two Torino defenders and forced his way to the byline.

The 19-year-old crossed deep into the area where Dzeko met the ball with the inside of his left foot and sent a deft volley into the far corner of the net from a seemingly impossible angle.

Kluivert was signed from Ajax during the close season.

Aleksandar Kolarov and Dzeko both hit the post during the first half and the Bosnian again struck the woodwork from a free kick in the second half.

Torino midfielder Tomas Rincon also struck the woodwork in the first half with a dipping shot and Iago Falque had a goal disallowed for offside following a VAR review three minutes after the break.

Midfielder Javier Pastore and goalkeeper Robin Olsen also made their debuts for Roma, who were Champions League semi-finalists last year.

Torino coach Walter Mazzarri was sent off for protesting about what he thought should have been a penalty for his side.

Domenico Berardi's 27th-minute penalty, after new signing Federico Di Francesco was tripped, gave Sassuolo their win over a disappointing Inter, who once again struggled on a visit to the Mapei stadium.

Inter gave debuts to Lautaro Martinez, Stefan de Vrij, Matteo Politano and Kwadwo Asamoah at the start while Keita Balde came on during the second half, but their biggest signing, midfielder Radja Nainggolan, missed the game with a muscular injury.

Sassuolo goalkeeper Andrea Consigli denied Inter a late equaliser with a superb point-blank save from De Vrij's header, but otherwise was given little to do by a toothless Inter attack.

"We lost because of a penalty, nothing more," said Inter coach Luciano Spalletti. "It wasn't the case that our goal was under constant threat or that the other team were superior."

He also said the poor conditions of the pitch, which cut up badly, favoured Sassuolo's style of play. "If you play on the counter, the pitch doesn't influence as much as if you are playing the ball to feet," he said.

Roberto Inglese, on loan from Napoli, and Antonio Barilla gave Parma a 2-0 lead over Udinese inside the hour but they were pegged back by a Rodrigo De Paul penalty and a goal from Seko Fofana.

Promoted Empoli began with a 2-0 win at home to Cagliari and SPAL won 1-0 at Bologna, who were playing their first game under former AC Milan coach Filippo Inzaghi.

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