By Michael Hincks
Real Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo: Zinedine Zidane wins first game back with Isco and Gareth Bale on target
Last Updated: 16/03/19 6:28pm
Zinedine Zidane's second stint at Real Madrid began with victory as Isco and Gareth Bale both scored in the 2-0 La Liga win over Celta Vigo on Saturday.
Just 10 months after leaving the Bernabeu, Zidane found himself back in the dugout after replacing Santiago Solari on Monday, with the club out of the Champions League, Copa del Rey and off the pace in the league.
Zidane made some bold calls in his first starting XI back, and it was Isco - who did not start a single league game under Solari - who broke the deadlock in the second half (62).
Bale's future in Spain had been put under the spotlight following Zidane's reappointment, but the Welshman made a statement with a man-of-the-match display, scoring their second goal (77) as Real moved nine points behind leaders Barcelona.
Real Madrid: Navas (7), Odriozola (7), Varane (7), Ramos (7), Marcelo (7), Modric (7), Kroos (7), Isco (8), Asensio (8), Benzema (7), Bale (8)
Subs: Ceballos (6), Valverde (6), Mariano (N/A)
Celta Vigo: Ruben, Kevin, Costas, Araujo, Junca, Okay, Lobotka, Boufal, Brais, Sisto, Maxi Gomez
Subs: Hoedt (7), Hjulsager (6), Beltran (6)
Man of the match: Gareth Bale
Zidane recalled Isco and Marcelo to his starting line-up with the duo periphery figures under Solari, while Keylor Navas was also handed a surprise start ahead of Thibaut Courtois in goal.
And Navas was on hand to deny Maxi Gomez from point-blank range, superbly tipping over a header in what was the match's first big chance.
Real then had numerous chances to break the deadlock, but Toni Kroos fired narrowly over from distance before Bale's scissor-kick volley rattled the bar.
Ruben Blanco was at full stretch to deny Marcelo's rasping effort, with Sergio Ramos heading marginally wide from the resulting corner.
After the break, Luka Modric saw his goal ruled out after the referee consulted the pitchside monitor, with Raphael Varane deemed to be obstructing goalkeeper Ruben while in an offside position as the ball bounced into the net.
However, Isco soon put Real ahead, turning in from Karim Benzema's cross after fine play from Marco Asensio to start the move.
Bale was then denied by the feet of Ruben, but got the goal his performance deserved when receiving the ball from Marcelo and tucking it in off the post.
Victory sees Real move two points behind second-placed Atletico Madrid, while the defeat leaves Celta Vigo in 18th with 10 games to go.
Man of the match - Gareth Bale
Earlier this week, the Welshman's agent, Jonathan Barnett, said the forward wanted to end his career at Real, but conceded his future would become clearer this summer after talks with Zidane.
But the conversation will not be a long one if Bale continues how he started in Zidane's second reign.
Bale was a constant threat in attack, hitting the bar and forcing a save from Ruben before finding the net, while he also stepped up defensively in making three tackles, more than any other Real player.
With the international break coming up, Real are next in action at home to bottom-club Huesca on March 31, while Celta host fellow strugglers Villarreal on March 30.