Real Madrid had a poor start to the 2018-19 season both in the league and the Champions League that forced Florentino Perez to sack manager Julen Lopetegui. However, the arrival of interim manager Santiago Solari has changed the fortunes of the Los Blancos, who are finding their feet with some great performances.
Real Madrid drew 1-1 against a strong Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey quarter-finals tie while winning the Madrid derby 3-1 at the Wanda Metropolitano against Atletico Madrid.
The derby was yet again a classic, as Casemiro opened the scoring in the first half with an overhead finish. However, nine minutes later, Antoine Griezmann scored through the legs of Thibaut Courtois to bring the hosts on level terms. Just as half-time was approaching, Vinicius Jr won a penalty, which Sergio Ramos coolly put into the bottom left corner.
It looks like Gareth Bale could be in trouble.
La Liga want him punished for a ‘provocative gesture’.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) February 14, 2019
In the second half, Gareth Bale scored his 100th Real Madrid goal in a delightful finish from a Luka Modric pass. However, the Welshman has found himself in trouble due to an offensive celebration following that goal. The 29-year-old raised his one arm by hitting it with the other in what is depicted as an offensive gesture. Bale can now be facing a ban of up to 12 league games after La Liga contacted the Spanish FA to ban the player.
La Liga revealed in an official statement, “In the celebration of Bale’s goal, he waves his right arm to the proximity of his head, in a predictable sign of encouraging provocation to the public, subsequently making a gesture of possible obscene and contemptuous meaning, raising the bent arm and hitting the middle of it with the other hand,”
“The possible sanctions for these provocations vary. If it occurs, the offender will be sanctioned with suspension of four to twelve games, if the animosity of the public, the suspension will be from one to three parties (games) or for a period of up to one month.”
Nevertheless, it is highly unlikely that Gareth Bale will be banned for 12 games. However, a ban of fewer matches is likely to be imposed. The Welshman has made 15 La Liga appearances this season and has scored six times, to narrow the gap between Real Madrid and table-toppers Barcelona to six points.
Santiago Solari will be hoping to keep the 29-year-old in action rather than to lose him due to suspension, as the Los Blancos are desperately fighting for every available trophy this season.
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) February 9, 2019
After a close 2-1 win over Ajax in the first leg of the round of 16 tie of the Champions League, the Spanish giants now face Girona at home on Sunday, before playing Levante away next weekend.