Real Madrid decision to bench Gareth Bale leaves Arsene Wenger baffled

Arsene Wenger believe Real Madrid could live to regret leaving Gareth Bale on the bench for their Champions League clash with Manchester City.

Wenger explained how Zinedine Zidane's side's best chance of beating the Premier League champions would be by evading their high press and then hitting them with a fast counter attack.

The game was delicately poised at 0-0 at half-time of the first leg, leaving Zidane to ponder his options for the second 45 minutes.

And Wenger told beIN Sports why he would have selected former Tottenham star Bale had he been in charge of Los Blancos.

"I think a guy like Gareth Bale, who can attack from distance, would have been very useful tonight," he said.

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"Because City will try to get De Bruyne and Gundogan behind the midfield of Real Madrid and find them and go from there.

"But if Real can get out of the first pressure I think they can be very dangerous."

Wales international Bale has had a fractious relationship with Zidane since the manager took over at the Bernanbeu for a second time.

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"I wouldn't say we were best mates, it was just a normal professional relationship," Bale said recently.

Wenger has previously conceded that he made a 'huge mistake' in failing to sign the 30-year-old when the icon was a left-back at Southampton.

"We didn't take him as we had Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy and didn't want another left-back," explained Wenger.

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"I must confess it was a huge mistake as he can play in midfield. He struggled at the start at Tottenham, then they moved him to midfield and he has done exceptionally well.

"The career of a player sometimes depends on playing in the right position."

Bale has scored just twice in La Liga this season.

Real Madrid are two points behind Barcelona as they look to win the league for the first time since 2017, and the second time in the last eight attempts.

  • Arsene Wenger
  • Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Gareth Bale
  • Champions League
  • Premier League
  • Real Madrid FC
  • Manchester City FC

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