Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 15th 2013 Contents A66
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt September 15, 2013
BARCELONA, Spain---Gareth Bale had a
bittersweet debut for Real Madrid follow-
ing his world-record transfer fee, as he
scored as his new team drew 2-2 at Vil-
The draw left Barcelona and Atletico
Madrid as the only perfect teams through
four rounds in the Spanish league following
Barcelona needed an injury-time goal by
Alexis Sanchez to edge Sevilla 3-2 after
conceding two late goals at home, while
Atletico rolled to a 4-2 win over Almeria.
Other than Bale's goal in the 38th minute,
Madrid was outplayed in the first half and
only Diego Lopez's goalkeeping kept it 1-
1 by halftime after Ruben aCani" Garcia
beat him in the 21st.
Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo hit off the
break two minutes after an exhausted Bale
was substituted in the 62nd, but Cani's
hard strike led to Giovani Dos Santos netting
the rebound to split the points in the 70th.
Madrid will have to regroup in time for
Tuesday's Champions League opener at
Madrid broke its own transfer milestone
for Ronaldo by paying Tottenham €100
million (US$132 million) to acquire Bale at
the close of the summer transfer window.
Even though Bale had played only a few
minutes this season in a match with Wales
last week, he responded to the start coach
Carlo Ancelotti gave him by equalising to
silent Villarreal's rabid attack.
All eyes at El Madrigal Stadium may have
been on Bale, but Villarreal's starting 11
were the only players shining early as its
forwards' blistering pace had Madrid strug-
gling to keep up.
Lopez smothered two strikes by Jonathan
Pereira from inside the six-yard box, but
the former Villarreal goalie could do nothing
to keep out Cani's shot when he scooped
in a ball lost by Pereira. Villarreal kept pour-
ing it on and Lopez again had to deny Javier
Aquino's back-to-back strikes in the 29th.
Bale turned the match in Madrid's favor
when he slipped inside his marker and
met Daniel Carvajal's low cross, tapping
the ball over the line before goalkeeper
Sergio Asenjo could arrive.
Bale went close with a swerving long
strike three minutes after halftime, but
Villarreal again let a golden chance escape
when Jaume Costa stroked wide after Dos
Santos had drawn Lopez off his line.
Ancelotti took Bale and new midfielder
Asier Illarramendi, who also debuted for
Madrid, off with Bale looking as winded
as expected considering his lack of playing
Ronaldo enjoyed a lucky bounce to score
when his hard shot hit off a defender and
then ricocheted off the Portugal forward's
own shin and into the net.
Villarreal didn't wilt, however, and Dos
Santos drove the ball beyond Lopez after
he parried a long strike by Cani, who
would again test Lopez with another try
from outside the box in the 80th.
"We were close to the win but a draw
against a team like Madrid is good," said
Cani, whose Villarreal had won its first
three games as well. "Even so, we are left
with that nagging feeling that it's not
every day you have a chance to beat
Barcelona appeared to have the win eas-
ily in hand after Dani Alves opened with
a header in the 36th and Neymar capped
a stellar performance by setting up Lionel
Messi for his league-leading sixth goal in
But Ivan Rakitic pulled one back in the
85th and served a corner kick for Jorge
"Coke" Andujar to score in the 90th put
Sevilla on the cusp of a dramatic draw.
That was when Messi dribbled by two
defenders and drew a save from Sevilla
goalkeeper Antonio "Beto" Bastos, with
the rebound falling for Alexis to poke home
and ignite the Camp Nou crowd.
"That last goal was all heart," Alexis said.
"Now comes the Champions League, where
you have to know how to win."
MILAN---Juventus drew 1-1 at bitter
rival Inter Milan in their first Serie A
clash at an electric San Siro yesterday,
while Napoli moved atop of the table
with a 2-0 home win over Atalanta.
A dramatic finale at Torino saw AC
Milan come from behind to draw 2-2
thanks to two very late goals, including
another Mario Balotelli penalty.
Mauro Icardi scored his first goal for
Inter to put the hosts ahead in a fixture
known as Italy's derby. However, Arturo
Vidal leveled almost instantly for Juven-
tus---as Inter conceded its first goal this
"The match confirmed today that
Inter can target the top of the table this
season, and that Juventus is a team
which is very tough to beat," Juventus
coach Antonio Conte said after his 100th
match in charge. "I saw my team play
very well in a difficult stadium against
a side that can compete in everything
right to the end, seeing as they don't
have European commitments.
Inter took the lead in the 73rd when
Ricky Alvarez robbed Giorgio Chiellini
and burst forward before putting in a
through ball for substitute Icardi to run
onto and smash home --- sending most
of the 83,000 crowd into a frenzy. Icardi
scored three goals against Juventus for
Sampdoria last season.
However, Vidal leveled 80 seconds
later, catching the Inter defence napping
as he drilled Kwadwo Asamoah's cross
into the bottom right corner.
Juventus almost took the lead
moments later but Carlos Tevez fired
just past the right upright.
In Naples, Napoli's new signings were
again on target to help the team maintain
its 100 per cent record after three games.
Gonzalo Higuain scored his second
goal in as many games since his moved
from Real Madrid, to give the home
side a 71st-minute lead and Jose Calle-
jon, who also joined from Madrid, scored
his third goal for his new club ten min-
Former Napoli midfielder Luca Cig-
arini was sent off in the 74th for a sec-
ond booking for a bad tackle on Calle-
Marseille held at Toulouse
PARIS---Marseille snatched a point
with a late equaliser for 1-1 at Toulouse
in the French league yesterday.
Bottom of the table with just two
points, Toulouse seemed to be heading
for its first win of the season after Wis-
sam Ben Yedder's 66th-minute strike.
However, Lucas Mendes evaded his
marker Uros Spajic to head home Math-
ieu Valbuena's free kick three minutes
from time as Marseille avoided a second
Marseille, the runner-up last season,
moved level with third-place Monaco,
which hosts Lorient on Sunday. The
two teams are a point behind Paris
Saint-Germain, which beat Bordeaux
Juventus draws 1-1 at Inter Milan
2-0 on Friday.
Saint-Etienne moved provision-
ally into top spot after cruising to
a 3-1 win at Valenciennes.
Benjamin Corgnet scored in each
half, either side of Romain
Hamouma's fine strike. Mevlut
Erding also headed off the post for
Valenciennes grabbed one back
12 minutes from time after
Moustapha Bayal was harshly
adjudged to have handled the ball
in the area and Maor Melikson con-
verted the resulting penalty.
Reims drew 0-0 at Montpellier,
and Evian won its second succes-
sive match, but almost let a com-
fortable lead slip before securing a
3-2 victory at Ajaccio.
Brice Dja Djedje gave Evian the
lead at the end of the first half and
a double from Kevin Berigaud
seemed to have handed the visitors
the points before Paul Lasne and
Gadji Tallo scored late to set up a
nervy final five minutes.
Bale scores in Madrid debut
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale from Wales celebrates scoring against Villarreal during their La Liga
soccer match at the Madrigal stadium in Villarreal, Spain, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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