Gareth Bale scored in his Real Madrid debut to help the Spanish soccer club draw 2-2 at Villarreal on a weekend when Borussia Dortmund extended its 100 percent record in Germany’s Bundesliga.
Bale joined Real on Sept. 1 for a reported world-record fee of about 85 million pounds ($135 million) from English club Tottenham Hotspur. 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 two days ago at its El Madrigal stadium on Ruben Cani’s 20th-minute goal, Real goalkeeper Diego Lopez made several saves. Bale then tied the score six minutes before halftime when he beat a defender to poke in Daniel Carvajal’s cross.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who yesterday signed a new contract with the record nine-time European champion until 2018, 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 Atletico 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.
In Germany, Dortmund routed Hamburg 6-2 for its fifth straight victory and leads the league by two points over defending champion Bayern Munich, which beat Hannover 2-0. Bayer Leverkusen defeated Wolfsburg 3-1 to stay in third place.
Monaco leads France’s Ligue 1 by a point over Saint-Etienne after Radamel Falcao’s first-half penalty kick secured a 1-0 win against Lorient yesterday. Saint-Etienne won 3-1 at Valenciennes the previous day, while Paris Saint-Germain was a 2-0 winner at Bordeaux on Sept. 13.
Napoli moved two points clear atop Italy’s Serie A after it beat Atalanta 2-0 and nearest rivals Inter Milan and Juventus drew 1-1 two days ago. Fiorentina yesterday missed the chance to join Napoli on nine points by drawing 1-1 with Cagliari. Genoa beat city rival Sampdoria 3-0.
PEC Zwolle retained top spot in the Netherlands even after losing 2-1 at defending champion Ajax as second-place PSV Eindhoven drew 2-2 with FC Twente.