Bale scores as Real Madrid begins season with a win

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale scored one and assisted another as Real Madrid began their La Liga title defence with an easy victory at Deportivo La Coruna, although Sergio Ramos was sent off in injury time.

With Cristiano Ronaldo suspended,Bale tapped in from Karim Benzema’s scuffed shot to put Madrid ahead.

Casemiro ended a move with 44 passes by converting Marcelo’s cross, before Toni Kroos smashed in from Bale’s pass.

Keylor Navas then saved Florin Andone’s penalty, before Ramos was dismissed.

The Madrid defender picked up his second yellow card for a high elbow in an aerial challenge, having received his first for shoving Fabian Schar’s face.

Sergio Ramos shoves Fabian Schar's face
Ramos has now been sent off 23 times in his Madrid career

Depor centre-back Schar had pushed his head close to Ramos’ in an angry confrontation – for which he too was shown a yellow card – but the Spaniard’s violent retaliation might easily have been punished with a straight red.

Ramos, 31, has now been sent off 23 times for Madrid, and 18 times in La Liga, a joint record he shares with ex-Sevilla defender Pablo Alfaro and Xavi Aguado, formerly of Real Zaragoza.

Earlier, Barcelona also got their league campaign off to a winning start as Ernesto Valverde’s side beat Real Betis 2-0 on an emotional night at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona were playing for the first time since the terror attack in the city on Thursday and both teams paid their respects to the victims with a minute’s silence before kick off.

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