Gareth Bale made a strong case for a starting spot against Juventus by scoring twice in Real Madrid’s 3-0 victory over Las Palmas in a La Liga match, as Cristiano Ronaldo was rested on Saturday.
Bale’s double in Gran Canaria served as a timely reminder to coach Zinedine Zidane, with the trip to Turin for the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals to come on Tuesday.
Karim Benzema had doubled Real’s lead before half-time as Los Blancos moved just one point behind second-placed Atletico. Las Palmas stay 18th, seven points adrift of safety.
The only worry for Zidane was the sight of Nacho hobbling off in the first half, with what appeared to be a hamstring problem.
“Everything is positive except one thing, the injury of Nacho,” Zidane said.
“He is not happy. It is a concern but hopefully only little and the rest is all good.”
Bale opened the scoring with a trademark run and finish down the left before Benzema converted one penalty and then generously handed over a second, which the Welshman had earned himself.
The question now is whether Zidane was suitably impressed to pick Bale in Italy.
“We will see on Tuesday, I am happy for his performance,” Zidane said.
Girona’s hopes of Europa League qualification took a knock after they were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Levante. Athletic Bilbao also drew 1-1 at home to Celta Vigo.