Ancelotti backs beleaguered Bale
© AFP

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has backed Gareth Bale to come good despite another insipid performance from the Welshman in the 2-1 defeat by Barcelona. 

Bale was handed just his second start since joining Los Blancos for €91m last month, but failed to make an impact on the game before being replaced by Karim Benzema after an hour.

The 24-year-old occupied a variety of positions across the frontline during his time on the field, but Ancelotti explained that his starting position in the centre of the pitch was merely a defensive tactic to pressure Sergio Busquets before moving into wide areas when Madrid had the ball.

"They are his first games and he needs to learn the combinations with the other players," Ancelotti said.

"He played a good game, he worked hard for the team."

"He didn't change positions from the wing to the centre a lot. He just looked to pressure Busquets when they had the ball and then play on the wing where there was more space."

Goals either side of half-time from Neymar and Alexis Sanchez were enough to hand Barça victory as Jese Rodriguez's reply for Madrid in stoppage time was merely a late consolation.