Bale faces battle to be fit for El Clasico

LISBON • Real Madrid are sweating over the fitness of Gareth Bale ahead of their showdown with archrivals Barcelona on Dec 3, after the Wales international limped out of their 2-1 win at Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Bale injured his right ankle a little less than an hour into the contest in Lisbon and Real coach Zinedine Zidane said the extent of the injury was not yet clear.

"Gareth Bale suffered more of an ankle twist than a knock, but we will have to wait and see what the problem is," Zidane said after the game.

A late goal from Karim Benzema helped Real confirm their place in the knockout stages of Europe's elite club competition for the 20th successive season.

Raphael Varane had fired Real into a first-half lead, but Sporting captain Adrien Silva levelled from the penalty spot after Joao Pereira saw a straight red card.

Real are second in Group F, two points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, and will look to pip their German rivals to top spot when the sides meet in Madrid for the final game of the group stages on Dec 7.

  • 12 Number of goals scored in Borussia Dortmund's 8-4 plundering of Legia Warsaw - a new Champions League record.

Zidane's team are four points ahead of Barcelona at the top of La Liga and play Sporting Gijon in the league on Saturday, before travelling to Barcelona for their first meeting of the season the following weekend.

Dortmund hammered Legia Warsaw 8-4 at the Signal Iduna Park, with German forward Marco Reus netting a hat-trick on his comeback after six months out with an adductor injury.

"I've worked hard for this moment and I am pleased that I could help the team," said 27-year-old Reus.

The 12 goals in Dortmund on Tuesday broke the Champions League's previous record of 11 set when Monaco beat Deportivo La Coruna 8-3 in November 2003.

Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa and Legia's Aleksandar Prijovic also finished with two goals each thanks to some poor defending by both teams.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2016, with the headline 'Bale faces battle to be fit for El Clasico'. Print Edition | Subscribe