Real Madrid won its La Liga opener against Getafe despite this being the first league campaign its played without Cristiano Ronaldo in nearly a decade. 

August 20, 2018

MADRID — Gareth Bale is doing his part to help Real Madrid get over Cristiano Ronaldo's departure.

Bale scored in Madrid's Spanish league opener and set up the other goal in a 2-0 win over Getafe in Sunday's Madrid derby.

Dani Carvajal also scored for Madrid, which for the first time in nearly a decade started its league campaign without Ronaldo, the club's greatest goal-scorer.

Bale, who hadn't played much while Ronaldo was still on the team before he moved to Juventus in the offseason, scored in the 51st minute with a shot from inside the area after a well-placed cross by Marco Asensio.

''I feel good,'' said Bale, who has scored in Madrid's league opener in three straight years. ''We are very upbeat with our chances this season.''

Bale had already struck the crossbar with a 16th-minute header, and a few minutes later he provided the cross that led to Carvajal's goal after Getafe goalkeeper David Soria failed to fully clear the ball.

Bale didn't have many chances as a starter under coach Zinedine Zidane, but is likely to gain a bigger role as new manager Julen Lopetegui deals with Ronaldo's absence and the lack of major signings by the club.

Bale received a loud ovation by the crowd at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium when he was substituted by Lucas Vazquez in the 77th minute.

Fewer than 50,000 fans made it to the Bernabeu for the 10:15 p.m. start (local time), the team's worst attendance since before Ronaldo arrived in 2009, according to Spanish media.

Madrid started its season with a loss to city rival Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup final. It was only third in the league last season, behind Atletico and champion Barcelona.

Barcelona opened with a 3-0 win over Alaves at Camp Nou Stadium on Saturday, with a pair of goals by Lionel Messi.

Atletico Madrid visits Valencia on Monday.

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