If there was one blot on Gareth Bale’s copybook heading into Wednesday’s Copa del Rey final then it was his largely anonymous showings in his first two Clasico appearances against Barcelona.
With Cristiano Ronaldo absent through injury there was an even greater weight of expectancy on the shoulders of the Wales star, but he rose to the occasion by scoring a fairytale winner five minutes from time.
Goal’s Alec Fenn said: “There appeared to be little danger when Gareth Bale picked up the ball on the halfway line as the clock struck 85 minutes at the Mestalla.
“The 24-year-old had different ideas, however, as he knocked the ball past Marc Bartra and ran off the pitch as he speeded past the helpless defender and into the penalty area.
“With just Pinto to beat from a tight angle, Bale kept his nerve and prodded the ball home with the outside of his left foot to win the game and pick up his first piece of silverware for Madrid.”
|Congratulations to Gareth Bale, Goal’s 257th World Player of the Week winner!
Robert Lewandowski – Borussia Dortmund
Goal’s Enis Koylu: “Scored his 100th Dortmund goal and fired them into the DFB Pokal final.”
Dimitar Berbatov – Monaco
@AdamHume86: “Berbatov’s goal against Nice was like a Fifa goal. One cool character.”
Goal’s Alec Fenn: “Lobbed the keeper from a tight angle with the most nonchalant of finishes.”
Connor Wickham – Sunderland
@smulh78: “Get in there you Mackems. We couldn’t possibly stay up? #wickham
Goal’s Miles Chambers: “Goals against Man City and Chelsea affected both ends of the table.”
Ryan Thomas – PEC Zwolle
@EBFBrecht: “Thank you New Zealand for giving us this boy. He knows no fear!”
Goal’s Joe Wright: “Scored twice as Zwolle came from behind to stun Ajax 5-1 in the KNVB Beker final.”