Santiago Solari delighted with match-winner Gareth Bale


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Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari doesn’t believe Gareth Bale’s goal celebrations – or lack of – are a sign of his unhappiness at the Spanish giants.

The Welsh winger came off the bench and netted Real’s 78th-minute winner from the penalty spot as they overcame Levante 2-1 in La Liga on Sunday evening.

Bale jogged back to the halfway line and shrugged off the celebrations of team-mate Lucas Vazquez, remaining poker-faced as he did.

It was the sixth time in the past eight games Bale has started on the bench, but Solari remains happy with the contribution of the 29-year-old. The Real Madrid manager was quick to play down talk of an unhappy player.

“I’m very pleased. He can celebrate the goals however he likes,” said Solari.

“He was ecstatic when I saw him in the dressing room having got his goal. “I’m thrilled with how he went out there and he looked hungry when he got on the pitch. He clinched the win for us and worked extremely hard.”

Bale has scored 101 goals in 220 games for the Spanish giants since joining for £85m from Tottenham six years ago. He has got his hands on one La Liga crown and four Champions League titles.

There is no shortage of speculation suggesting his time in the Spanish capital is coming close to an end, but Solari won’t be adding any fuel to that fire.

“You [the media] have an awful lot more eyes than we do, but we’re there and what I saw is how hungry he was to get on the pitch and help the team,” he added.

Real Madrid are 10.00 to win a fourth successive Champions League crown this season.

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