Real Madrid beat Malaga 2-0 as they kept up the pressure on Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, who both dropped points at the weekend.
Argentine Angel Di Maria put Real ahead just seconds after half-time. An intended cross to Cristiano Ronaldo ended up being a mis-hit, however it flew past both Ronaldo and the caught out goalkeeper.
Bale was introduced in the 76th minute, with the Welshman making a comeback from a thigh injury.
He went on to win a penalty late on after being brought down by Malaga defender Weligton.
Ronaldo converted with ease, sealing a 2-0 win for Real Madrid. The win puts them just two points behind Atletico Madrid and three behind leaders Barcelona.
Barcelona could only draw 0-0 away at Osasuna, while Atletico suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat away at Espanyol.
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