Three things we learnt from Real Madrid's thrashing of Real Betis

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In their opening game of the season, Rafa Benitez's Real Madrid slumped to a goalless draw against Sporting Gijon - albeit away from home - raising questions over the Spaniard's team selection.

Benitez opted to play Gareth Bale in behind striker Jese in Karim Benzema's absence, with the Welshman failing to impress in a position he isn't quite accustomed to given his natural position being on the right-wing.

Despite criticism last week, though, Bale bounced back to bag two goals and an assist to silence his critics during Madrid's 5-0 defeat of Real Betis, with the 26-year-old looking a danger in the number 10 position that Benitez is trying to integrate him into.


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However, many still have their doubts over Bale's suitability to the role, with many also calling for James Rodriquez or Isco to be used behind the striker in the build up to the 5-0 maulling, though if there was ever a way for Bale to respond that was it.

The return of Benzema certainly brought out the best in Bale, with the Frenchman able to find space for the latter to exploit both to pass into or to distract for his own shots on goal.

There is no doubting Bale's ability as a potential number 10 - the forward is fast, creative and lethal from range - which suggests that he's made for the role and fits in with the consensus that Benitez wants him as his main man.


And the Spaniard has kept the faith in him, and he must be commended for doing so, though it remains a question over whether the former Tottenham man can continue to impress in his new role for the team.

In addition, Benitez's decision to reinstate James into the starting line up worked wonders, with the Columbian scoring a spectacular free-kick and a quite extraordinary bicycle kick.


The 24-year-old surrendered his place to Isco in their opening game of the season, which drew a lot of criticism for Benitez, but will have surely cemented his place back in the side for future selection after this performance.

One consideration that Benitez might have to make, though, is Cristiano Ronaldo's place in the team, with the Portuguese enduring a very indifferent start to the season given his usually high and emphatic standards.


Against Sporting, Ronaldo struck ten shots on target without scoring and against Betis missed three guilt-edged chances.

And while Los Blancos fans need not worry about the form of their star man just yet, as surely it is only a matter of time before the 30-year-old opens his account for the new season, his form begs questions as to whether he is in fact undroppable, especially given the talented bench that Real boast, and whether being dropped is the reality check he needs to kickstart his season.

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