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Gareth Bale, Benzema compound Madrid woes with injuries

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Gareth Bale ruled out of WOrld Cup qualifiersGareth Bale: injured

Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, the chief attacking threats for European Champions Real Madrid were forced off injured at the Mendizorrotza Stadium, where Alaves dealt the team a body blow by running away with a goal victory.

The injuries by the two stars have further compounded the woes of the Spanish giants who had been battling to regain form.

Madrid’s shock defeat by Alaves on Saturday to make it four games without a victory for the Julen Lopetegui wards.

And it is four games without a goal too for the European champions, their longest scoring drought since 1985, as Manu Garcia headed home in the 95th minute to send the Mendizorrotza Stadium wild.

It is the first time they have beaten Madrid here since 1931.

Bale’s injury must be a big concern for the club. The Welsh man had missed the Champions League loss to CSKA Moscow on Tuesday with a groin strain.

In Vitoria, he was taken out in the 80th minute and replaced by Vinicius Junior. Benzema had left in the 46th minute. He was replaced by Mariano Diaz.

Julen Lopetegui reflected on the crisis before the team in a press interview after the game at Mendizorroza: “We are really down, we wanted the win. We started well enough, creating chances and taking shots at goal. We wanted to start off strong, which we did, but not scoring was what punished us.

“Sometimes the pace of the game is breakneck, and we paid the price. We need to pick ourselves up and get players back and fit, we’ve gone 15 days with some really bad luck. Today two players got injured: We need to get back the fresh, calm approach we had at the start of the season, that way we can get back to winning ways as soon as possible”.

“Karim and Gareth had injuries, so we had to make decisions regarding changes. That’s football, that’s the way it goes, and today all the negatives came out. We have the international break now, so we can get back to what we’re doing”.

“It is just October. In such a negative dynamic, we need to get our key players back. The sense of calm comes with the result, and the result will come after the goals. Today we had good chances to score but we were punished”.

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