Zidane full of praise for match-winner Bale

Moment of the Matchday – Matchday 01

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane heaped praise on forward Gareth Bale after the Welshman scored the decisive goal in a 3-2 victory over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

Los Blancos were stunned by Rayo's strong start to the Primera Division encounter, with Adri Embarba and Miku scoring in the opening 15 minutes.

However, the visitors responded in the best possible way as Bale opened Real's account on 35 minutes after latching onto a neat pass from Toni Kroos. Youngster Lucas Vázquez levelled matters early in the second stanza, before Bale popped up with the winning goal nine minutes from full-time to send the travelling support into wild celebrations.

Reflecting on preformance of Bale, Zidane said: "Like him, I'm very happy because he's making the difference.

"We needed Bale to step up, and he did so superbly. He's been really good and I'm happy because he hasn't had the minutes and he's in good shape.

"Now he must rest up and start thinking about Tuesday. We needed him today and he performed really well.

"We could talk about his part in the two goals, but he put in a fantastic all-round performance. He created chances and physically he gets stronger as the game goes on. He was great."

Reflecting on the manner oin which his side rallied from behind, Zidane added: "It's not easy to win the game when you're 2-0 down.

"We've proved that we can turn a game around after conceding two goals. My players showed a lot of patience and they made the difference.

"We've got players with the quality to turn things in your favour when things are going against us from the off."