BARCELONA (REUTERS) - Gareth Bale showed some exquisite touches for Real Madrid in their 4-1 victory over Real Sociedad on Saturday but was, once again, subjected to whistling from a section of the Bernabeu crowd.
The stage was set for the Welshman to be the talisman of the team in the absence of the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo but instead it was Karim Benzema who took over the reigns with two goals and a dominant performance.
Bale played in the role of Ronaldo on the left of the attack and was full of running but some Real fans have turned against him as they feel he is too greedy and doesn't look to combine with his team-mates enough.
In his debut season he was lauded for his crucial goals but in this campaign he has been less decisive in matches and his weaknesses have been more evident.
There were whistles from the crowd last month at home to Espanyol and they were spurred on when Ronaldo was angry at one point for not receiving a pass. Against Sociedad, they whistled if he lost possession or shot waywardly.
James Rodriguez was irritated in the first half when Bale snatched a ball that was coming to the Colombian and then failed to hit the target with his shot from the edge of the area. Clearly, Bale is used to a more direct British style of football, which conflicts with the more measured build-up play that fans are used to seeing at the Bernabeu.
Still Bale did have supporters on the edge of their seats with some of real quality, including a delightful flicked pass for Isco and he combined with Benzema for the Frenchman's first goal.
He has said publicly that he is happy at Real and quashed rumours last week that he would be interested in a return to the Premiership with Manchester United and coach Carlo Ancelotti continues to fully back him and consider him a crucial member of his team.
"I do not expect anything more from him and he has done very well," Ancelotti told a news conference. "It is true that he failed to score two goals but he gave the assist for Benzema at 3-1 and was working for the team."