He demonstrated the player he is – Zidane salutes Bale's goalscoring performance

Gareth Bale scored in Real Madrid 3-1 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday and Zinedine Zidane was delighted for the under-fire winger.

Real Madrid attacker Gareth Bale   -  Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane saluted the goalscoring performance of Gareth Bale in Real Madrid's win at Real Sociedad, hopeful that it is a "turning point" after a difficult period for the Wales star.

Bale has been a hot topic at the Santiago Bernabeu so far this term, with the 28-year-old becoming the target of jeers from some sections of Madrid supporters on more than one occasion this season.

The former Tottenham star endured an injury-hit campaign last term and is yet to truly rediscover the form of his first three seasons in La Liga.

But his goal in Sunday's 3-1 victory – a delicate finish after a 50-yard sprint – was his second in four league games this season and Zidane believes he proved a point with his performance.

"I'm very happy for him," Zidane told reporters. "There is a lot of talk about him, but he has demonstrated the player he is.

"It proved to be a great game, not only because of the goal. But I'm happy for the goal because he needed to put it in.

"It's not easy, after a 70metre race. Technically he did it very well and, for me he's not even at his best.

"I know we're going to find [the real] Bale little by little. I know he can do a lot better, but we have to be patient, as I said before the game."

Zidane also reserved special praise for Borja Mayoral, who scored his first La Liga goal in what his first league start in Spain since April 2016.

"He's a good player," Zidane said. "He's young man, but he could have an important role, so I'm very happy for him.

"He's had the opportunity to play and he's done well."

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