Bale booed by Bernabeu during 3-1 Madrid win over SociedadReal Madrid's Gareth Bale comes on as a sub during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Real Sociedad at the Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Spain, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
MADRID (AP) -- Gareth Bale was jeered loudly by the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium crowd when he went on as a late substitute in Real Madrid’s 3-1 comeback win over Real Sociedad in the Spanish league on Saturday.
Madrid’s supporters expressed their anger for Bale’s peculiar celebration after helping Wales qualify for the European Championships this week. The images of Bale dancing and laughing behind a banner that read “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In That Order” were not well received in the Spanish capital.
Bale was booed every time he touched the ball, including before his cross that was headed down by Karim Benzema for Luka Modric to put the result beyond doubt in the 74th minute. Afterward, Bale also received some applause for his good play.
Just like in the pre-game news conference, coach Zinedine Zidane did not criticize Bale’s jibe at the club.
“It is not for me to understand or not,” Zidane said after the game. “But we need our fans behind us for 90 minutes, as well as Gareth.”
The win kept Madrid in second place, level on points with Barcelona, which leads the league on goal difference.
Sociedad’s pressure led to a goal two minutes after kickoff. Willian Jose poached a poor back pass by Sergio Ramos for goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois that the Sociedad striker easily picked up and put into the empty net.
Martin Odegaard, who is playing for Sociedad on loan from Madrid, along with fellow midfielder Mikel Merino and winger Mikel Oyarzabal took the initiative from the start with their passing attack that easily slipped the hosts’ attempts to press.
But Madrid weathered a vibrant first half hour by Sociedad before Benzema chested in a corner kick from Modric to level in the 37th.
Federico Valverde’s deflected shot put Madrid ahead two minutes into a second half that was a riveting exchange of attacking waves by both sides until Modric scored Madrid’s third goal.
Sociedad, one of the league’s surprise sides, was left in fifth place at five points back.
Madrid hosts Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday.
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