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Gareth Bale is in the form of his life at Real Madrid

The unstoppable 'Cardiff Express' - A goal every 87 minutes is Bale's best of his career, making him La Liga's third-deadliest behind only Benzema and Suárez.

Bale leads los blancos.

Gareth Bale's match-winning performance against Rayo Vallecano came with the Welshman hitting his finest form of the season, reaching his best goals per min average. He is now La Liga's third most effective player.

A magnificent performance in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo was vital to all three points for Los Blancos, who had to come from 2 down to reign victorious at Vallecas. Bale scored two and assisted the third, leading the madridistas to an essential win that keeps their title challenge alive.

According to the numbers, Bale is having his best season ever, in terms of his return on the field of play per minutes played, injury-wracked as it has been. He's taken part in 21 of 35 La Liga games in the camisa blanca and has scored 18 goals in 1,572 minutes.

The Spanish stats-people who are into this type of thing have calculated that that means a goal every 87 minutes, or practically one per game. The best run of his career. 

There is certainly no doubt that it's his best in La Liga since he pulled on that storied camisa blanca. Along with his 18 goals he's provided 11 assists, and while he's played more in previous seasons, he's never broken that 15 league goals barrier before, scoring exactly that number in 13/14 (a goal every 137 mins) and two less in 14/15 (a goal every 198 mins).

21 was his career-high season haul, a number he reached in 12/13 - his final year at Spurs when he won the Premier League player of the season. Still, his GPM was well off what he has achieved this season: he played 2925 minutes, scoring a goal every 139 minutes.

Gareth Bale is now third in La Liga's list of deadliest hitmen.

His goal every 87 minutes is only bettered by his teammate Karim Benzema who's notched 23 in 1834 minutes, a goal every 80', and Barcelona's Luis Suarez with one every 85'. Close behind you'll find Agirretxe with one every 90'.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, ever to meet in the same clause, average in at a goal every 98 minutes.