Gareth Bale is now making Spanish defenders cry

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

What a difference a week makes. On October 26, Gareth Bale was roundly criticized for his poor performance in Real Madrid's 2-1 loss to Barcelona. Two matches and 10 Real Madrid goals later — two scored by Bale and four more set up by him — and Bale is now making Spanish defenders cry.

After beating Sevilla 7-3 in the middle of the week, Real Madrid continued to show how their attack has suddenly come alive with a 3-2 win against Rayo Vallecano. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring in just the third minute by nutmegging a defender and slotting it past the keeper. That set the foundation for what Gareth Bale did early in the second half.

Chasing down a ball that seemed certain to go out, Bale flicked it over the head of defender Anaitz Arbilla, giving himself acres of space to set up Ronaldo for an easy goal. Whatever supposed animosity between Bale and Ronaldo melted away as the two most expensive players in the world hugged and two minutes later, Arbilla was taken out of the match in the just 51st minute. Here's the goal:

Arbilla trudged to the bench and promptly put a jacket over his head while he let the tears flow and a teammate tried to console him. Though Bale still has a long way to go to prove his price tag, the tears of opposing defenders have to count for something.

- - - - - - -

Brooks Peck is the editor of Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow on Twitter!