Bale: Real ‘unlucky’ not to get penalties

Gareth Bale feels the referee's decision not to award Real Madrid two penalties was the difference between them and Manchester City on Wednesday night.

It was a match many expected the Welsh winger to illustrate Los Blancos' lack of dependence on the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, but it was not to be as both teams failed to take advantage of the few chances that came their way.

Bale did, however, lament Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir's decision not to award a spot-kick after having his ankle clipped following a run into the City penalty area.

"We looked solid," the former Tottenham star told reporters after the game. "We looked a threat on the counter and we were unlucky not to get a goal and maybe a few penalties."

When asked about the penalty call, Bale's response was upfront and candid: "Yeah for sure, he clipped my ankle and I wasn't able to stay on my feet so for me it was a penalty..

"And also another one on Lucas which was very clear but it didn't go for us tonight, those calls and hopefully they will next time."

Bale was asked whether the visitors had to amend their strategy following the withdrawal of Ronaldo before kick-off.

"We didn't have to change too much," he answered. "I think the players Jesé and Lucas [Vázquez] who came in did a very good job.

"Of course you have to play it carefully but ultimately when we're at home we attack a lot and we'll try to keep it defensively tight as well. It will obviously be a difficult game at home we know that, they're a very good team themselves.

"It was a little bit frustrating not to be able to score but a clean sheet and obviously going back to the Bernabeu now we're very confident."