Real Madrid suffer further setback with Gareth Bale hamstring injury

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Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale has suffered a further injury setback in his bid to return to action with Real Madrid.

A calf injury had ruled the Wales forward out since late September and, after feeling some discomfort in his left leg during training on Thursday, Bale could be set for a further month on the sidelines.

A statement published on realmadrid.com said the 28-year-old had been diagnosed with a fibrillar rupture to the adductor of his left leg. The recovery period for such an injury is two to six weeks.

“Our player, Gareth Bale, who felt some discomfort in his left leg at the end of training on Thursday has been the subject of tests on Friday at the Real Madrid Sanitas Medical Centre. He has been diagnosed with a tear in the hamstring,” read the statement.

Despite his return to training in recent days, Bale did not link up with Wales for their international friendly matches against France and Panama on the request of Real head coach Zinedine Zidane.

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Real Madrid's Lucas Vazquez recreates Zidane UCL volley against Luca Zidane

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Everyone loves a good volley. Especially Real Madrid in Europe.

Madrid players have scored some famous volleys in the Champions League, so it was quite a treat for winger Lucas Vazquez to try to recreate some of them.

First up was THE volley, Zinedine Zidane’s legendary strike in the 2002 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen.

And who better to be in goal for that recreation than Zidane’s own son? 19-year-old Luca plays for Madrid’s youth team, but he was on hand to watch - and try to stop - Vazquez’s attempts to recreate his father’s famous goal.
Also on the list was Gareth Bale’s superb recent volley against Borussia Dortmund, a goal that set Madrid up for a win in Germany that has pretty much guaranteed a place in this season’s knockout stages.


Vazquez also got to have the satisfaction of recalling one of his own goals, a volley against Legia Warsaw last season. On the off chance anyone was pulling the old “if he tries that in training he’ll never pull it off” line, the Real Madrid youngster put that to bed. There’s no doubting Vazquez’s technique after this.


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Asensio's long-range stunner shouldn't be a surprise and other Deadly Stats as Real Madrid cruise past Las Palmas

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Real Madrid quietened crisis talk after back-to-back defeats as Marco Asensio added to his collection of wonder strikes in a 3-0 victory over Las Palmas at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Victory cuts third-placed Real’s deficit on Barcelona at the top of La Liga back to eight points.

However, it was another off night for Madrid’s strikers as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema were held scoreless as Casemiro, Isco and 21-year-old Asensio provided the killer touch.

Here are Seven Deadly Stats from Sunday’s game…

REAL MADRID’S MILESTONE MAN

Sometimes it can be hard to remember that Marcelo hasn’t been around forever, so long has his career seemed, even considering that most people will recall memories of Marcelo’s predecessor at left-back, Roberto Carlos.

Marcelo has continued the tradition his compatriot established before him as a marauding, thrilling presence on the left side of Madrid’s defence, and on Sunday he deservedly joined Carlos in a select club.

BENZEMA KEEPING THE DEBATE GOING

Karim Benzema has been making headlines recently, although not for reasons he’d appreciate. Ever since Gary Lineker called the Frenchman overrated during Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham, debate has raged around the striker’s talents.

The team has rallied behind their man, with Zidane and club president Florentino Perez both praising the striker for his all-around brilliance and the way he fulfills his role in the side effectively. And there’s little doubt that Benzema can be a deadly striker and is capable of magic on the ball.

For all that Lineker is an excellent pundit, he may have gotten it wrong on this occasion. But at the moment Benzema isn’t making the greatest of cases for himself.

CASEMIRO PICKS UP SURPRISE FIRST

Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos – Madrid are blessed with some excellent headers of the ball, which make the side a danger from any set-piece near the box.

So it’s surprising that three months into the season, Los Blancos had yet to score with a header.

Casemiro changed that with the side’s opener on the night.

ASENSIO, LA LIGA’S LONG-RANGE SPECIALIST

Asensio announced himself with two excellent long-range strikes against Barcelona in this season’s Supercopa. Given how memorable those goals were, it won’t come as a surprise to anyone to find out that the young Spaniard is capable of repeating the feat.

But his goal on Sunday night was still something special. A half-volley, from outside the box, arrowing and swerving into the top corner – it was simultaneously beautiful and brutal.

It also cements his reputation as one of La Liga’s premier long-range specialists. All four of his league strikes have come from outside the box.

Oh, and he also happens to be Real Madrid’s top scorer in the league.

VALLEJO’S STUNNING DEBUT

At just 20, Jesus Vallejo was making his first La Liga start for Real Madrid, stepping in for the injured Raphael Varane.

By the end of the game, it would have been shocking to think this was his full debut. Vallejo put in an imperious performance alongside Sergio Ramos, mopping up play at the back and denying Las Palmas at every opportunity. And given Ramos’ love for going forward and joining Madrid’s attacks, Vallejo was often the lone defender at the back, but that didn’t seem to faze him. At one point he stopped a 3-v-1 break with some fine defending.

He ended with a 100% success rate in his tackling, and three interceptions – second only to Ramos on the night among Madrid players.

Jesus Vallejo (R) was in fine form on his full La Liga debut for Madrid.

Jesus Vallejo (R) was in fine form on his full La Liga debut for Madrid.

THE RONALDO STAT THAT MATTERS (FOR NOW)

So, yes, yet again Ronaldo failed to find the back of a net in a La Liga match. He’s still on one league goal for the season.

Until that happens, however, let’s remember that while Ronaldo’s main currency is goals, he’s no slouch when it comes to providing them for his teammates.

Perhaps the selfish tag can be shrugged off.

THE RONALDO STAT THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE

Standard logic dictates that you need to shoot to score. It also follows that if you’re a world-class striker, the more you shoot, the more you’ll score.

Lionel Messi has been proving this true so far this season, leading La Liga in both shots and goals.

So what’s the issue with Ronaldo?

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