Real Madrid lost more ground on Barcelona in the La Liga title race after they were held to a 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo inside an electric
FT: Celta 2-2 Real Madrid. Bad performance again and again.— Rey (@ReyLaMadrid) January 7, 2018
As has not been the case often enough so far this campaign, it was an assured start from the visitors on a chilly night in north-west Spain, with
Gareth Bale has directly contributed to 7 goals (5 goals + 2 assists) in 7 games for Real Madrid since returning from injury. pic.twitter.com/6FweSSpw9Q— RMadrid Edition (@RMadridEdition) January 7, 2018
Liverpool should have a serious look at that Iago Aspas guy as replacement for Coutinho ..— Jonas Giæver (@CheGiaevara) January 7, 2018
Wass, who grafts and puts a shift in every game, also has that in his locker. A very good player, and underrated too.— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) January 7, 2018
That Wass wonderful.— Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas) January 7, 2018
Following the Uruguayan losing possession on the edge of the Real area, play was quickly transferred to Toni Kroos, who spotted the lightning run of Bale and was only too happy to oblige in feeding the Welshman.
The former world's most expensive player, who was making his first league start since September, took the pass in his stride before trickling his finish across the floor and into the far corner past the spread-eagle Blanco.
200 - Gareth Bale has scored the 200th goal for Real Madrid in La Liga under Zinédine Zidane (201 currently). Milestone. pic.twitter.com/sDblea5Ma3— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 7, 2018
But for the hosts the worst was still to come, as less than five minutes after going ahead, Bale had the ball in the net for the second time in almost as many minutes to give the visitors the lead.
This time the provider of the simply stunning assist fell on Isco, who had looked the Spanish capital's most dangerous player for the majority of the first-half.
Similarly to Kroos, the 25-year-old instantly spotted the run from his returning teammate, while 40-yards from goal, who then, with the slightest of touches, guided his effort first-time past the static Celta custodian to give his side a somewhat undeserved lead at the break.
Cannot take my eyes off #CeltaRealMadrid. Three superb goals, all for different reasons. Scoreline a touch harsh on the hosts who have been impressive, especially considering their shift in midweek, but it's nice to see Bale back firing again. #LaLiga— Joe Owens (@joejournosun) January 7, 2018
The opening of the second 45 was as frantic as the closing prequel, with both sides flashing over the crossbar
Those inside the Portuguese-bordered cauldron then burst into overdrive even more so with 20 minutes to go, as following superb build-up play by the hosts, Navas was forced to fell Aspas inside the area as the Spaniard attempted to round his opposite man.
Madre mía !!!!! Look how far Navas is off his line before Aspas takes the kick ?!!!!! pic.twitter.com/sivE7rg0gz— Kevin Gimenez (@KevNGxx) January 7, 2018
But the late drama was far from over, as inside the final five minutes Aspas found himself on the turf again inside the Real area, this time under the challenge of Marcelo, but official Latre waved protests away, much to the dismay of the Spaniard.
Despite a late surge, Real could do nothing about settling for a draw and now find themselves will a truly insurmountable challenge ahead in their quest to get their hands on the La Liga title at the end of this season.