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Gareth Bale and Chiellini make debuts as LAFC beat Nashville

LAFC overcame Nashville FC 2-1 in a game that saw Welshman Gareth Bale and Italian Giorgio Chiellini make their debuts in MLS.

LAFC consigue una victoria en debut de Gareth Baley Giorgio Chiellini

LAFC beat Nashville 2-1 on Sunday in a match in which saw both Welshman Gareth Bale and Italian Giorgio Chiellini make their MLS debuts. The narrow win helped the side from the City of Angels retake the lead in the MLS Western Conference.

Following the victory, LAFC are the top ranked side in MLS so far this season having amassed 42 points and are one point ahead of Austin, who have also played a game more than the LA side.

Colombian Cristian Arango gave LAFC the lead in the 27th minute with his eighth goal of the season and confirmed his excellent form, having scored six goals in his last seven games.

Hany Mukhtar tied the game for Nashville in the 43rd minute when he slotted home a penalty kick but LAFC rallied in the 46th minute with a goal from Ecuador’s Jose Cifuentes off a rebound.

It was Cifuentes’ third goal in the last two games following his brace in LAFC’s 3-2 win over Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez’s LA Galaxy in the MLS Los Angeles derby.

LAFC midfielder Jose Cifuentes
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LAFC midfielder Jose Cifuentes JAE C. HONG / POOLEFE

Debuts for Bale and Chiellini

Officially introduced on Monday, Bale came on in the 72nd minute in place of Arango, played his first minutes in the LAFC attack alongside Vela and moved both centrally and on the right flank on the wing.

At the post-match press conference, Bale said it was “amazing” and “exciting” to make his MLS debut and with his new team.

Gareth Bale: La calidad de la MLS ha mejorado
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El delantero galés debutó en la MLS al minuto 71 del partido entre el LAFC y el Nashville SC.LA FC

“It was good to get minutes and, more importantly, to get the three points. We are happy,” said the former Real Madrid player.

“The most important thing today is that we all fought until the last minute and got the three points,” he added.

Bale insisted that, on an individual level, the most relevant thing at the moment for him is to reach his peak form as soon as possible, given that he is coming from Europe where the season ended just before the summer.

He also stressed that he wants to “help the team” as much as he can and that he wants to absorb “the philosophy” of LAFC’s game as soon as possible.

Chiellini, who was called up against the Galaxy but did not make his debut, was part of the starting eleven and was replaced in the 60th minute by Colombian Eddie Segura.