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Bale Scores in Debut to Help Real Madrid Draw 2-2 at Villarreal

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Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Gareth Bale scored in his first game for Real Madrid, helping his new club to a 2-2 draw at Villarreal in Spanish soccer’s Primera Liga.

Bale joined Real for a reported world-record fee of about 80 million-pounds ($127 million) from Tottenham of the English Premier League earlier this month. The Welshman, who had yet to play this season, started in midfield before being replaced by Angel Di Maria in the 61st minute.

After Villarreal took the lead at its El Madrigal stadium on Ruben Cani’s goal in the 20th minute, Real goalkeeper Diego Lopez made several saves to keep his team close. Bale then tied the score six minutes before halftime when he beat a defender to poke in Daniel Carvajal’s cross.

Cristiano Ronaldo put Real in front midway through the second half and Villarreal pulled even with 20 minutes remaining on a goal from Giovanni dos Santos, another former Tottenham player.

The draw left both teams two points behind Aletico Madrid and Barcelona, who remained perfect in the league with their fourth straight wins. Atletico beat Almeria 4-2 and Barcelona defeated Sevilla 3-2 on Alexis Sanchez’s goal in stoppage time.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

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