Bale saves Real Madrid with a brace, gets a red

Zinedine Zidane was about to turn his back on a disappointing first half for Real Madrid away to Villarreal, when Gareth Bale gave him a gentle nudge.

The Welshman struck home on the stroke of half time to level the scores at 1-1, his first of the campaign and his fourth goal in seven visits to Villarreal since joining Los Blancos.

He then netted his fifth in seven visits in the second half to once again pull Real Madrid level, earning them a 2-2 draw.

But then, in the final moments, Bale saw two yellow cards in quick succession and was sent off.

It was a bittersweet night, then, for Bale at the venue of his first goal for Real Madrid – which came on his debut back in 2013.

He has made a convincing start to this LaLiga Santander campaign and cemented his importance to the team, but will now be suspended for the match against Levante after the international break.