MADRID: Gareth Bale celebrated his new contract with two goals as European champions Real Madrid signed off for the international break with victory over Leganes.
Madrid were far from convincing against their promoted neighbours until Bale latched on to Isco’s pass to open the scoring. The Wales forward struck a second on half-time after bundling the ball over from close range. Alvaro Morata added a third after the interval.
Zinedine Zidane’s team, who squandered a 2-0 lead to draw 3-3 at Legia Warsaw in the Champions League in midweek, struggled against their lowly opponents before Bale broke the deadlock seven minutes before half-time.
He raced on to a through ball from Isco that split the visiting defence and rounded goalkeeper Jon Serantes to tuck the ball inside the near post from a tight angle. Bale then took advantage of poor defending from a free-kick to hit the second. Even then Real looked vulnerable.
It required a finger-tip save by Keylor Navas to deny Alexander Szymanowski before Morata, standing in for the injured Karim Benzema, made it 3-0.
Good news for Zidane was the return after injury to midfield of Luka Modric with Brazilian Casemiro not far behind.
Their first game after the international break is away at neighbours Atletico Madrid while the first Clasico of the season against Barcelona is on December 3.