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La Liga: Bale scores on return as Real thrash Rayo Vallecano

Madrid: Gareth Bale scored on his return to the Real Madrid starting line-up for the first time in a month as they beat Rayo Vallecano 5-1 on Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo 

Bale took just nine minutes to make his mark as he slid in to turn home Toni Kroos’s low cross before Sergio Ramos doubled Madrid’s lead.

An awful attempted backpass from James Rodriguez gave Rayo hope just before half-time as Alberto Bueno reduced the arrears, but Kroos restored the hosts’ two-goal advantage with his first goal for the club.

Karim Benzema added a dubious fourth despite being clearly in an offside position before Cristiano Ronaldo registered his 23rd goal of the season thanks to some generous goalkeeping from Cristian Alvarez.

A pelvic muscle injury had kept Bale on the sidelines for five games prior to his return as a second-half substitute against Liverpool in midweek, and there were positive signs for Welsh boss Chris Coleman as he looked back to his best ahead of his country’s crucial Euro 2016 qualifiers against Belgium and Israel.

Rampaging Ronaldo

18
No of goals Ronaldo has scored in the La Liga in these 10 games

5
No of assists the forward has racked up this season in the La Liga

27
No of chances the Portuguese star has created for his Real Madrid teammates

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