Ease up on 'exceptional' Bale, Moyes tells Madrid fans

AFP , Saturday 31 Jan 2015

David Moyes
Real Sociedad manager David Moyes (Photo: Reuters)

David Moyes was sick with envy after watching Real Madrid dismantle his Real Sociedad side 4-1 and called on the Bernabeu crowd to give Gareth Bale a break as he endured a frustrating day in front of goal.

The spotlight was on Bale in the absence of the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo but, despite teeing up Karim Benzema for Madrid's third, he spurned a series of chances to keep his recent scoring streak going.

Bale has been accused by some in Spain of being too selfish in recent weeks and there were more whistles for the Welshman when he took Benzema's pass off the toes of James Rodriguez before somehow firing wide just before half-time.

"Gareth Bale is a top player. The important thing when you have those players is that you encourage them," said Moyes.

"I think he had one or two chances today. On another day he would score. He’s an exceptional player.”

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti also tried to play down Bale's bad day in front of goal.

"I don't want more from him. He played very well," said the Italian.

"It is true that he missed two big chances, but he gave an assist to Benzema for the 3-1. He works for his team-mates."

Being able to replace the World Player of the Year with the world's most expensive player is not a luxury afforded to Moyes in his new role in San Sebastian.

Despite repeatedly signalling his intentions to add to his squad in recent weeks, the transfer deadline for Spanish clubs on Friday came and went without any new arrivals at Anoeta.

"We were disappointed we didn’t make some purchases in the January window. We tried very hard," added Moyes, who had similar troubles during his ill-fated 11 month spell in charge of Manchester United.

Sociedad have shown their ability to upset the odds this season with home victories over Real, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, and they couldn't have asked for a better start at the Bernabeu when 20-year-old Aritz Elustondo bulleted Ruben Pardo's corner past Iker Casillas.

However, James Rodriguez quickly levelled before Sergio Ramos and a brace from Karim Benzema moved Madrid four points clear at the top of the table.

"I don’t know if we touched the ball again until they scored. Real Madrid are terrific at scoring goals from crosses. We had worked on it, but I think the first two goals came from crosses to the back post.

"I think the way they played in the first half was as good as I have come up against. They were very difficult to lay a glove on.

"I have really enjoyed my experience at the Bernabeu here. I’ve watched one of the top sides in the world."

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