Zinedine Zidane's side face strugglers without injured Gareth Bale

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Real Madrid will begin its long spell without Gareth Bale on Saturday when it faces Sporting Gijon just a week before the clasico at Barcelona.

Real Madrid beat Sporting Gijon in a biblical storm at the Bernabeu and the goals went in two by two for Cristiano Ronaldo whose scoring double left him as La Liga's top scorer.

Real got off to the ideal start on Saturday afternoon when Ronaldo tucked away a fifth-minute penalty after a foul on Lucas Vazquez.

Real top the Liga standings on 30 points, four clear of nearest challengers Barcelona, who they visit on 3 December. "We have many players who can play in many different positions and that is the great thing about this team". "But that can happen sometimes".

Ahead of Saturday's game with Sporting Gijon, Bale was joined on the sidelines by defender Raphael Varane and Fabio Coentrao.

Los Blancos go into the game in fine form, with last weekend's 3-0 derby demolition of city rivals Atletico their fifth successive league victory.

"Then there was a lot of rain, and less concentration". It was a game to forget for us.

"Today we can only be happy with the three points, but we can't be happy with the performance", Zidane said after the match. "If we continue on the path we're on we can achieve something again this season". "He wants to play more and that's understandable, but for me, he is a major player".

The Portugal superstar netted twice inside 18 minutes, opening the scoring from the spot after Lucas Vasquez - deputising for Bale - was felled in the area, before adding a second with a thumping header.

"When he doesn't score goals everyone thinks he is not playing well".

"Now we must turn our attentions to the Copa Del Rey match before el Clasico and keep working". James played well, as did the others.

"Kovacic felt something - it was recurrence of blow from before". Despite Rodriguez's talent, the situation is already out of his hands and nothing will change to get him more playing time.

Zidane also defended James Rodriguez as the Colombian came in for the injured Gareth Bale, having previously struggled for game time. Zidane, the player, broke a considerable number of records and now he is doing the same as a manager.

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