Gareth Bale under scrutiny as Real Madrid take on Plzen

Nov 07, 2018, 08:47 IST | AFP

The Brazilian Vinicius Junior, 18, came on two minutes later and made the difference, his shot deflecting in to give Madrid the lead. "Another day, Gareth will score," Solari said. "And everyone will celebrate."

Gareth Bale under scrutiny as Real Madrid take on Plzen
Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale

"Bale es fantastico", Real Madrid´s interim coach Santiago Solari said, but still took him off in the 71st minute against Real Valladolid on Saturday. Real travel to Viktoria Plzen for their Champions League clash tonight.

Madrid were drifting towards a 0-0 draw at their Santiago Bernabeu home and, searching for inspiration, it was Bale's number 11 that came up. He departed to whistles from the fans even if Solari, perhaps deliberately, spared him being replaced directly by Vinicius Junior.

The Brazilian, 18, came on two minutes later and made the difference, his shot deflecting in to give Madrid the lead. "Another day, Gareth will score," Solari said. "And everyone will celebrate."

But those quickest to criticise Bale are circling again. Support for Vinicius has been intense and Bale is seen as the one standing in the way. Vinicius signed from Flamengo for 45m euros in the summer. "Footballers cannot fight against what goes on around them," Solari said. "The media and the fans are excited about Vinicius and that is fantastic, but his virtues are as evident as his weaknesses and his age. He has had almost no time to mature."

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