Bale happy to be back, and scoring

Gareth Bale was delighted to make a scoring return for Real Madrid in the 2-0 La Liga win over Espanyol on Saturday.

Alvaro Morata opened the scoring after 33 minutes at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu ahead of Bale's 83rd-minute strike – having only come on for Morata in the 71st minute.

Both goals were supplied by Isco, with Bale finishing a clinical counter-attack down the left-hand side with a top-class finish in at the far post.

It was Bale's 100th win with Real in just 140 matches, and after the game he explained just what it meant to him to be back, and on the scoresheet.

He told the club's official website: "I'm happy to be back and to have got the goal because I've worked hard during the last few weeks to get fit. The most important thing is to be back helping the team.

"The reception from the Bernabeu was unbelievable. The fans are fantastic. They applauded me and I really felt their affection."

He added: "I'll take it game by game and keep working hard in the upcoming weeks to get back to 100% as soon as possible. 

"We want to win all the trophies we play for and I want to keep helping the team".

Real boss Zinedine Zidane also expressed his admiration for the "special" player following his return to action.

He said: "I'm happy to have him back. He was eager to get back playing again. When he came on, I told him to go out and enjoy himself, that was all I said. 

"He's a key player and we're all happy, especially the player himself. Gareth is Gareth. We've only got one Gareth Bale, but we've got other players who are doing a great job."

He added: "He’s a special player, he’s different from the rest, but each player does their bit. 

"It doesn’t look like he’s been out for three months. He's very powerful, he makes the difference and that's why he's special. 

"I'm happy to have the front three available because we know what they can offer, as well as what the rest can do."