Bale laughs as Ancelotti tells Hazard to return to the bench

Gareth Bale was forced to watch from the bench again as Real Madrid continued their dip in form.

Los Blancos suffered a Copa del Rey exit on Wednesday night, losing 1-0 after an Alejandro Berenguer winner just a minute from time.

Real Madrid haven’t won the Copa del Rey since 2014, and their wait will go on for now.

But perhaps more concerningly, this is the third game in which Real Madrid haven’t won in normal time.

Los Blancos beat Elche in extra time in the last round before drawing with the Alicante side in La Liga.

That result was followed by this defeat, and in the last two games, veteran winger Bale has been left on the bench for the full 90 minutes.

The Welshman recently returned to full fitness, but he hasn’t been called upon despite Real Madrid’s poor form, and he has a new bench mate in Eden Hazard.

Bale and Hazard have spent the last 180 minutes on the bench together, and there may be an element of cabin fever.

During the defeat to Athletic Club, Hazard was told to warm up, but after he had finished, Ancelotti told him to sit back down, indicating that he wasn’t going to be introduced after all.

When that happened, Bale was pictured laughing by the cameras.

Whether it was sarcasm, disbelief or something completely unrelated, who knows, but at least the Welshman is smiling in spite of his situation.

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