Resurgent Bale routs Celta Vigo

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale scores against Celta Vigo in La Liga on Saturday. Reuters.

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale made a convincing case to be considered for a starting berth in the Champions League final against Liverpool with two scorching strikes in his side's 6-0 hammering of Celta Vigo on Saturday.

Bale put the burners on to race on to a through ball from Luka Modric and fire his side into the lead with a thumping low finish.

He then knocked the ball through the legs of Celta's Jonny Castro on the right wing and, with his next touch, lashed the ball into the roof of the net to the delight of the usually hard-to-please Santiago Bernabeu faithful, who gave him a standing ovation when he was substituted late in the game.

"He played very well today and I'm very happy for him, but the important thing is that everyone is in great form heading to the final," Real coach Zinedine Zidane told a news conference.

Zidane has left Bale in the margins for most of Madrid's run to a third consecutive Champions League final, starting him in only one of their six knockout games this season and taking him off at halftime in that game at home to Juventus.

But with six goals and an assist in his last five Liga starts, including the equaliser in last week's thrilling 2-2 draw at Barcelona, Wales forward has made a late bid for a return to the starting line-up in the May 26 final in Kiev.

Madrid's top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo was rested against Celta to continue his recovery from a sprained ankle although there is no danger of him missing the final against Liverpool.

Real stay in third place in the table on 75 points, 15 behind champions Barcelona and three back from city rivals Atletico with one game left to play.

Earlier Saturday, Koke's early goal proved enough for Atletico to claim a 1-0 win at Getafe and remain on course to finish in second place.

Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak also saved a late penalty from Faycal Fajr as Diego Simeone's men warmed up for Wednesday's Europa League final against Marseille by denting Getafe's hopes of playing continental football next season.

The capital club got off to a quick start in the local derby, as Koke collected Antoine Griezmann's pass and drove a low shot into the bottom corner to score his fourth goal of the campaign in the eighth minute.

Getafe missed a chance to stay just two points adrift of seventh-placed Sevilla in the chase to qualify for the Europa League, as Fajr's 77th-minute spot-kick was kept out by Slovenian Oblak.

Sevilla would have wrapped up a top-seven finish with a victory in their derby at Real Betis, but Loren's equaliser with nine minutes to play snatched the home team a 2-2 draw.

Elsewhere, Samu Castillejo scored twice as Villarreal beat relegated Deportivo La Coruna 4-2 to leapfrog Betis into fifth.

Reuters

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Resurgent Bale routs Celta Vigo

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