La Liga: Gareth Bale helps Real Madrid C. F. stay in title hunt

Madrid: Gareth Bale deputised ably for the injured Cristiano Ronaldo with a wonder strike from 35 yards as Real Madrid kept up the pressure on Atletico Madrid and Barcelona with a 4-0 win away to Real Sociedad on Saturday.

Gareth Bale shoots at the Real Sociedad goal
Gareth Bale shoots at the Real Sociedad goal 

Atletico stay top, three points clear of third-placed Real, as they squeezed out a tense 1-0 win over Villarreal, whilst Barca remain in second after overcoming Real Betis 3-1 thanks to two goals from Lionel Messi.

Real were leading 1-0 thanks to Asier Illarramendi's opener when Bale pounced on an error from Sociedad keeper Claudio Bravo to register his 18th goal of the season with a sweet left-footed striker 25 minutes from time before Pepe and Alvaro Morata rounded off the scoring.

"I value the whole game because I think everyone played well and with a lot of intelligence," said Real boss Carlo Ancelotti.

"I am very happy tonight because it was not an easy game. I have a team that likes to fight and I am very proud of them."


> Atletico Madrid 1-0 Villarreal
> Barcelona 3-1 Real Betis
> Real Sociedad 0-4 Real Madrid 4

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