Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari praised Gareth Bale after he took less than three minutes to mark his return from injury with a goal.
The Wales international was named in the squad for the first time since sustaining a calf injury on January 3 and came off the bench to score Real’s final goal in a 4-2 win at Espanyol.
“Gareth is a decisive player, he’s always capable of scoring a goal. He has great physical strength,” Solari told his post-match press conference.
“He scored as soon as he came on and that was good for the game and for his confidence.
“Step-by-step he has to regain the form from before the Club World Cup when he scored three goals.
“And this is the Gareth we want to see all the time, like today when he was hungry to score.”
The star of the show, however, was a rejuvenated Karim Benzema as he scored twice in a LaLiga game for the first time in five months either side of Sergio Ramos’ header.
“He is a generous player, I don’t know anyone as generous as he in his game because he makes his team-mates better and his efforts are always appreciated,” Solari added.
“He had a spectacular game, one for Madridistas to enjoy and also anyone who likes football in general.”
A third-successive league win lifted Real back up to third, albeit 10 points behind leaders Barcelona.
“The team has been working very well for a long time,” said Solari.
“In the last three games, we have been good in front of goal and have won our battles.”
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