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Real Madrid transfer news: Gareth Bale shines in La Liga opener with Zinedine Zidane adamant he will now stay

Jack Rathborn

Gareth Bale continued to reverse his fortunes at Real Madrid by lining up in Zinedine Zidane’s XI to open the season against Celta Vigo just weeks after being pushed to the exit.

Los Blancos marched to a 3-1 victory with Bale playing his part after a lucrative move to China fell through with Zidane now adamant the former Spurs star will stay.

Zidane opted for the Welsh forward over Lucas Vazquez and if the Frenchman begrudgingly made the decision, it was vindicated as he set up the opening goal for teammate Karim Benzema.

Real absorbed long spells of pressure and Luka Modric was sent off in the 54th minute, but more goals from Toni Kroos and substitute Vazquez clinched victory before Iker Losada Aragunde’s added a consolation late on.

“He’s going to stay and we all have to think of that as a positive thing,” Zidane said.​

“The injury to Eden Hazard was bad luck for us but it didn’t change the plans we had for Bale in this game.

“Gareth and everyone else here is going to show this shirt the respect it deserves.”

Mikel Oyarzabal’s penalty deep into added time salvaged a 1-1 draw for Real Sociedad against Valencia at the Mestalla.

The hosts took a 58th-minute lead through Kevin Gameiro but, in the 100th minute of the game, Francis Coquelin was sent off for a handball and Oyarzabal scored from the spot.

Villarreal and Granada kicked off the season in fine style after playing out a thrilling 4-4 draw at Estadio De La Ceramica.

Santi Cazorla’s penalty gave the Yellow Submarine the lead before Fede Vico levelled the scores with a spot-kick of his own just before half-time.

Moi Gomez restored Villarreal’s lead only for Ruben Pena’s own goal to restore parity once more.

Real Madrid celebrate scoring vs Celta Vigo (EPA)

Gerard Moreno gave Javier Calleja’s side the lead for the third time in the match and Samuel Chukwueze looked to have won it when he made it 4-2 with 17 minutes remaining.

Roberto Soldado grabbed a goal back for Granada in the 75th minute and Antonio Puertas secured a dramatic point with a third equaliser after 81 minutes.

Paulo Oliveira’s own goal after 75 minutes handed Mallorca a 2-1 victory at home to Eibar.

Eibar centre-back Oliveira had earlier equalised Dani Rodriguez’s fourth-minute opener before putting into his own net.

Elsewhere, Ezequiel Avila scored the only goal for Osasuna in their 1-0 victory over Leganes, who had Oscar Arnaiz sent off in added time.

PA Sport contributed to this report