Bale miss proved costly for Real Madrid – Butragueno

The former striker felt Carlo Ancelotti’s side created enough chances to beat Barcelona but is adamant they have everything to play for this season

Emilio Butragueno believes a Gareth Bale miss ultimately proved costly for a profligate Real Madrid in Sunday’s Clasico.

Jeremy Mathieu’s header was equalised by Cristiano Ronaldo following a brilliant counterattacking move, but Luis Suarez’s fine finish handed all three points to Barcelona.

Ronaldo had earlier hit the crossbar from close range before Bale saw a first-half goal ruled out for offside. Later in the match, the Wales star failed to find the net when he fired wide from inside the area.

And Butragueno feels Bale’s miss, combined with the general poor finishing from his side, handed Barcelona the vital victory.

“We’re saddened by the result because in the first half we dominated them, created chances and played really well,” the Madrid director told reporters.

“In big games like this, everyone has their moments, but we didn’t take ours. We missed some clear chances.

“After we got back to 1-1 we were the superior team but at 2-1 we were a little down. In the end it was decided by two or three moves – and Barca were more accurate.

“We had some very clear chances, particularly Bale’s following a corner. We lacked that little bit of luck to get the second.

“If we had scored, I think we’d have given much more. It was a shame.”

The former striker remains confident that all is still to play for in the title race, despite Barca’s four-point advantage.

“There are 10 games to go. We must continue getting our injured players back. [Luka] Modric had a great game, giving us security in midfield, while James [Rodriguez] will soon be back with us,” he said.

“Ronaldo was also very good and, in the first half, Karim Benzema was fantastic.

“There are still many challenges ahead and this team has enormous potential.”

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