The last few weeks have been a complete whirlwind for Gareth Bale.
That’s an understatement.
On September 1 he was sold to Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur for a world record fee of $132 million. Then on Saturday September 14 he made his Madrid debut against Villarreal and scored. And after making his UEFA Champions League debut for Real against Galatasaray as a second half sub, the 24-year-old Welshman can finally reflect on it all after their 6-1 win.
“It is amazing and a big reason why I joined such a big club was to be playing in the biggest competition in the world and it was great to get out there tonight, get the win and a good start,” Bale said.
Many were assuming Bale would once again start for the Spanish giants, but after playing 60 minutes on Saturday, manager Carlo Ancelotti decide to start the former Tottenham attacker on the bench. And he wasn’t really needed if truth be told, as his teammates demolished Turkish giants Gala in impressive fashion.
(MORE: Galatasaray 1-6 Real Madrid; Ronaldo scores hat trick as Madrid run riot)
Still Bale came on to play a cameo role late on and play his part in a few goals, and it seems as though he may come off the bench a few more times in the coming weeks as he builds up his fitness following a preseason interrupted by injuries.
“I spoke with the manager and I had no preseason whatsoever, I have trained seven or eight days, had 30 minutes for Wales and 60 minutes on the weekend,” Bale said. “So it was all about easing me in, and I felt good when I came on and I contributed. It is a different situation not to have a preseason and it is a bit difficult, but I am feeling like I am getting there, getting minutes on the pitch and it is all about game time and building myself up.”
With the most-expensive player in the world playing the role of a substitute and Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo helping himself to a hat trick to celebrate his new contract with Real… is there any stopping Los Galacticos in this seasons Champions League?
Seemingly everything he touches turns to
Marcus Rashford scored twice in the first 17 minutes of Wednesday’s League Cup third round match versus Burton Albion at Old Trafford, and the second was a beaut.
[ MORE: Everton fines Rooney ]
It was a classy little chipped finish that made it 1-0, but Rashford unleashed from outside the 18 to beat a flying goalkeeper and put a jewel on the scoreboard.
Well, not really a jewel, but picture that “2” as real shiny.
Rashford now has five goals in eight matches for Manchester United this season, and 22 in 78 for his career. He turns 20 next month, which is nice.
Wayne Rooney‘s move back to Everton was always going to benefit the Merseyside community, though it wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Everton has fined Rooney two weeks’ wages following his admission earlier this week to a drunk driving charge.
[ MORE: PL Player Power Rankings ]
According to the BBC, “Everton intend to give the entire sum – thought to be about £300,000 – to local projects through their Everton in the Community scheme.”
At a Monday court date, Rooney learned that he would not be allowed to drive for two years. He was also fined and assigned 100 hours of community service.
Rooney has two goals and an assist in nine appearances, all starts, for the struggling Toffees. He is not in the 18 for Everton’s third round League Cup tie versus Sunderland on Wednesday.
Five more League Cup third round games take place on Wednesday with Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton all hosting lower-league opponents.
[ LIVE: Latest League Cup scores ]
Holders Man United welcome Burton Albion to Old Trafford, while Arsenal host Doncaster Rovers, Chelsea welcome Nottingham Forest to Stamford Bridge, Everton clash with recently relegated Sunderland and Manchester City head to West Brom.
On Tuesday five Premier League teams were knocked out of the competition as Liverpool lost at Leicester City, Stoke were upset at Bristol City, Burnley lost to Leeds United on penalty kicks, Brighton lost at Bournemouth and Huddersfield were knocked out by Crystal Palace.
[ MORE: Tuesday’s League Cup roundup ]
Below is the full schedule for Wednesday’s League Cup games with all games kicking off at 2:45 p.m. ET unless otherwise stated.
Click on the link above for live updates on all five games, while the fourth-round draw takes place after the games have finished.
Wednesday’s League Cup schedule
Arsenal vs. Doncaster Rovers
Chelsea vs. Nottingham Forest
Everton vs. Sunderland
Manchester United vs. Burton Albion – 3 p.m. ET
West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester City – 3 p.m. ET
Rog and Davo break down Arsenal’s draw at Chelsea, Wazza’s return to Old Trafford, and a robotic performance from Pep’s City side. Plus, a musical number at the end.
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