Zidane praises Gareth Bale as he inspires comeback win
Arsenal were beaten by Real Madrid and Laurent Koscielny looks to be on his way
Real Madrid’s Welsh forward Gareth Bale after scoring against Arsenal. Photograph: Getty Images
The Real boss has faced criticism in recent days over comments about Bale’s potential departure from the club and later denied showing a lack of respect to the forward.
Speaking to reporters after the International Champions Cup clash in Washington DC on Tuesday, Zidane said he had been pleased with Bale’s efforts after he sparked a second-half comeback against the Gunners.
“He played today, he wanted to and he did a good job,” he said. “He put in a good performance and I’m pleased for him. He wanted to be with us today, he trained normally and played the match.”
Bale came on as a substitute at half-time, after Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had put Arsenal firmly in the driving seat at FedExField.
Nine minutes later he found the back of the net, tapping in from six yards to halve the deficit.
His goal was swiftly followed by another from Marco Asensio, whose clinical finish in the 59th minute pulled the Spanish club level and left the scores tied at 2-2 at full-time.
Zidane, who claimed on Monday that Bale had not played against Bayern Munich last weekend because he did not want to, said the situation surrounding his potential exit remained unchanged.
“He’s here and I don’t know what will happen,” he added.
Despite impressing throughout the rest of the game, Bale had less success in the penalty shootout and his tame effort was easily saved by Emiliano Martinez.
Real claimed the victory when Arsenal youngster Robbie Burton sent his attempt over the bar.
Meanwhile Laurent Koscielny appears to be on his way out of Arsenal after manager Unai Emery suggested he plays no part in his plans for the new season.
The France defender opted out of the Gunners’ pre-season tour of the United States, according to Emery — who stated he will instead work with “players that want to be here”.
“I tried to continue working and finding one solution between the club, between him and us,” Emery told the club’s website after their penalty shoot-out loss to Real Madrid.
“When he decided not to come here with us on tour, the solution is now only for the club and him.
“He decided to be out. I respect him but I have a responsibility, he has a responsibility, and the club have their responsibility.
“Now it’s an issue only for the club and him. My idea is to continue with the players we are working with, and the players that want to be here.”