Gareth Bale ended a nine-game goal drought by scoring twice as Real Madrid moved back to within a point of Barcelona at the top of La Liga with a 2-0 win over Levante.
The Welshman silenced his critics as Madrid snapped a three-game winless streak on Sunday to ensure they go into next weekend’s El Clasico at the Camp Nou on Barcelona’s tails.
However, Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t appear overjoyed to see his teammate get back on the scoresheet as he cut a frustrated figure having seen his initial efforts lead to both Bale’s goals.
“I saw a more motivated Bale with more desire, but the whole team had more desire and concentration today,” said Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti. “Everyone understood what we had to do and what we have to do next Sunday.”
The Italian responded to Tuesday’s stunning 4-3 defeat at home to Schalke in the Champions League by recalling Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos to the starting line-up for the first time after long-term spells on the sidelines, whilst Keylor Navas was given a run out in goal ahead of the under fire Iker Casillas.
And Ancelotti recognised that Bale was a lot more comfortable with his old Spurs teammate Modric alongside him.
“The influence of Modric is positive. It gives Bale more opportunities to be involved in the game,” added Ancelotti. “They played together at Tottenham and he is definitely more comfortable with Modric.”