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Zidane fires up Borja and recovers Bale


The LaLiga match at Anoeta was a boost for Real Madrid, who had woken up on Sunday morning seven points behind Barcelona. Real Sociedad came into the game playing marvellously well, having won their three previous matches, notching up 10 goals. And Zidane was missing Cristiano, Marcelo, Benzema... and with Bale well below par, off form, and lacking confidence. But in the face of all that Real Madrid had a fine game, above all in the first half. At the end of the match, Real Sociedad coach Eusebio explained to the television cameras of Movistar how he'd felt his team had been tied down at the back, dominated, with no space to come out. It was clear he'd been impressed by Madrid's football.

Zidane gave Borja Mayoral his chance

Zidane's starting XI included Borja Mayoral as centre forward and that turned out to be a grand choice. He wasn't even called up for the 1-1 draw against Levante, and the response to Benzema's injury was to put Bale in there, which isn't his position. This time Zidane called on Borja Mayoral and we could say the lad passed with flying colours. He played well, a livewire in his position, linked up well with his teammates, scored the opening goal with a pure striker's bit of opportunistic play and set up another, beating Llorente in the middle of the park, going round Elustondo, ran and sending in a cross that Kevin Rodrigues unfortunately put in the back of his own net.

Borja Mayoral celebrates Real Madrid's opening goal
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Borja Mayoral celebrates Real Madrid's opening goalJUAN FLORDIARIO AS

Bale's fine goal, his only contribution

That was the match's decisive minute. Kevin, who had already scored from a Odriozola pass, hit the bar after a nice move. He came sprinting back to shut down the danger being created by Borja Mayoral and ended up scoring in his own goal. Later, in the second half, he lost a vital race against Bale, who scored the third goal after pursuing a fine pass from Isco with his greyhound sprint. That was all he did, but it showed he's still there. Zidane is continuing with him in the hope he gets his form back. Well, maybe the French coach is going to be rewarded. Right now what he's got is Barça four points ahead, a moderate distance.