Gareth Bale limps out of Madrid derby with groin strain

Wales international taken off at half-time as a precautionary measure

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale in action with Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez during the La Liga game at the Santiago Bernabeu. Photograph: Javier Barbancho/Reuters

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale in action with Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez during the La Liga game at the Santiago Bernabeu. Photograph: Javier Barbancho/Reuters

 

Gareth Bale was substituted at half-time of Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw in the derby against Atletico at the Bernabeu on Saturday night.

The Wales international suffered a groin strain and will be assessed ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League trip to CSKA Moscow.

Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui admitted Bale’s substitution was a precautionary measure.

“Bale had discomfort in his adductor at half-time and as a precaution he didn’t come out for the second half. We will test him tomorrow and we’ll see.”

The Republic of Ireland take on Wales in a Nations League match on October 16th at the Aviva Stadium.

Lopetegui believes his team must stay positive despite the frustrations of not being able to beat their Madrid rivals.

Earlier in the day, Barcelona – who were stunned at Leganes on Wednesday – could only muster a 1-1 draw at home against Athletic Bilbao, which meant Real had the chance to move ahead at the top of the table.

However, Los Blancos failed to produce a response from the midweek loss at Sevilla, and lacked a cutting edge.

Goalkeepers Thibaut Courtois and Jan Oblak each made one key save in either half as both teams had to make do with a share of the spoils.

“We didn’t win the game simply because we didn’t manage to score, but overall, I think that we were by far the better side, particularly in the second half, in which we created several chances,” Lopetegui said at a press conference.

“After the break, we managed to pen Atletico back into their own half, overcame adversity and delivered a good performance. However, if you don’t score, you don’t win football matches.

“I take some big positives from tonight’s game. When faced with difficulty, the team stood tall and improved, having had a day’s less rest [to prepare] and with some absentees, and showed character and personality.

“We played well, but failed to get the goal to make our dominance tell.

“The goals will come. We’ve had chances and they will come.”

The visitors could well have gone into half-time ahead but for Courtois producing a fine reaction block, with his face, to deny Antoine Griezmann on the break.

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