Real Madrid must learn from mistakes against Legia Warsaw - Gareth Bale
Real Madrid Galactico Gareth Bale said his team must improve in both defence and attack after Wednesday night's surprisingly dramatic 3-3 Champions League Group F draw at Legia Warsaw.
Bale fired Madrid ahead after just 55 seconds, and Karim Benzema added a second to leave Madrid seemingly set for a straightforward victory against a Legia side that were beaten 6-0 by Borussia Dortmund and 5-1 by Madrid at home earlier in the competition.
But the Polish champions' Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, Miroslav Radovic and Thibault Moulin all found space to score from the edge of the area to put their side 3-2 ahead, before Blancos midfielder Mateo Kovacic equalised late on.
Speaking on BeIn Sports after the game, the Wales international said his team had to improve both up front and in the back, and to learn from the mistakes they had made.
"We need to be better defensively, and more clinical with the chances we create," Bale said. "We just need to learn from the mistakes we made. We must take the positives, learn from this and be stronger from it."
No Legia fans were allowed into the stadium due to serious previous incidents involving the team's ultras, so the game was played in a strange atmosphere with just a small travelling Madrid contingent making noise.
"It was a strange game, especially with the stadium [closed to home fans]," Bale said. "That's no excuse, though. We're not happy with the result, we need to learn from this and bounce back stronger."
Asked about Blancos coach Zinedine Zidane's postmatch analysis that his side had lacked intensity after going ahead so early, Bale accepted that the defending Champions League holders had been punished for losing their focus.
"We had control of the game at 2-0, and we just lost concentration," he said. "This happens at football, at this level if it happens you can get punished. We will definitely learn from this and come back stronger."
Cristiano Ronaldo was Madrid's captain on the night, with more senior squad members Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Pepe all missing through injury. The Portuguese superstar did not appear on Spanish TV however, with young winger Lucas Vazquez the other Madrid player to speak and echo Bale's idea that the team needed to learn from what had happened.
"It is a pity that the two points got away from us, we should learn from this and that's all," Lucas Vazquez said. "These things can happen in games. It was a quite strange game. We did not know how to keep the advantage we had. Still heated from the game, it is difficult to analyse, but we will have to learn from the mistakes we made."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan