Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane remains hopeful that Gareth Bale’s injury is not serious after the Welshman was forced to be withdrawn in his side’s 2-1 Champions League victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on 12 April.
The former Tottenham Hotspur star was replaced by Marco Asensio in the 59th minute. Zidane revealed the Wales international was struggling during half-time and replaced him with Asensio as a precaution.
“Gareth felt something at half-time and I didn’t want to risk him. He’s suffering now but we hope it’s nothing serious. I’m happy with the substation because Marco did well out there,” Zidane told Real’s official website.
Bale was on the sidelines for close to three months due to an ankle injury and returned to action in February. He will undergo further tests back in Madrid.
The Spanish capital club went a goal down in the first half following a bullet header from Arturo Vidal. Cristiano Ronaldo equalised just after the start of the second half and Real were handed an advantage when Xavi Martinez received his second yellow just after the hour mark.
Asensio’s substitution helped Real as he assisted Ronaldo’s second goal of the match, which proved to be the winner after the end of the first leg. The Portuguese international’s double against Bayern saw him score his 100th European goal and Zidane revealed Ronaldo was unhappy as he felt he could have added another goal to his name on Wednesday.
“He was happy, but no so much so because he could have scored the third. That is his ambition. We are all happy because getting a result here is not easy. Now we must relax because the game in LaLiga is just around the corner. In the return leg we will have to dig and we know that,” Real manager stressed.
“We know Cristiano’s position on the field, but he had the freedom during the game to go wherever the ball fell. He always plays best on the wing and before the game we thought that he has to be on the move, switching positions with Bale and Benzema.”
The second leg of the Champions League quarter-final tie between Real and Bayern will be played at the Santiago Bernabeu on 18 April.
But the question is who should replace Bale? Marco Asensio would be a good choice.
His addition to the team does not only have to do with his exuberant shape or his ability to generate scoring situations.
Having him in the starting XI instead of one of the three forwards also adds more balance to the side, as Asensio gets involved in plenty of build-ups plays in midfield, and is extremely generous tracking back to help his teammates in defence.
The young talent from Mallorca plays a very attacking brand of football, but is one of those who can take charge of offensive positions from midfield, and knows how to link up with Luka Modric & Co.