Madrid 2- 2 Arsenal... Bale to the rescue


Gareth Bale scored, cleared a shot off the line and missed a spot-kick during a surprise appearance for Real Madrid in their penalty shoot-out win over Arsenal.

In a four-goal game where both teams were reduced to 10 men, it was Bale's impact from the bench that stole the headlines.

The Welshman scored 10 minutes after coming on less than two days since Zinedine Zidane said the forward had refused to play in a friendly with Bayern Munich as part of an ongoing spat over his future.

Any reconciliation was probably the last thing on Zidane's mind earlier in the game, with Nacho sent off for handball inside 10 minutes and Alexandre Lacazette firing Arsenal ahead from the spot. The

French forward then turned provider with a deft flick for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to grab a second on the break.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos' two bookings inside a minute before the break levelled things up in terms of personnel, and after the break, Real levelled the scores with a pair of quick-fire goals. The first came from surprise inclusion Bale who toe-poked home the rebound from Marco Asensio's effort.

Within minutes, Real restored parity with Asensio getting the final touch, a powerful effort in at Emiliano Martinez's near post from Marcelo's cross.

After Bale's clearance and near-miss for a second, Arsenal substitute Eddie Nketiah missed two fine chances to win the game late on which instead saw it go to a shoot-out. It was Real who picked up the extra point when Robbie Burns missed the decisive kick.

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