Real Madrid fought back from two goals down to beat Arsenal on penalties in the preseason International Champions Cup on Wednesday, with Gareth Bale of all players coming through with the second-half inspiration for Los Blancos.
The game came just days after Zinedine Zidane revealed Bale had refused to play in an earlier friendly against Bayern Munich as he seeks a transfer, but the Welshman entered at the halftime interval on Wednesday and turned the game on its head.
The first half could have hardly gone worse for Real, who were down to 10 men after just nine minutes. Nacho was dismissed after he handled a shot from Alexandre Lacazette, and the Frenchman converted the subsequent penalty to put Arsenal ahead.
Real Madrid was handed a lifeline shortly before the break as Sokratis Papastathopoulos was shown two yellow cards in the space of three minutes, so the two sides - both a man light - went into the break needing a reshuffle.
Zidane's answer was to introduce Bale to the fray, and it took the Welshman just 11 minutes to make an impact as he found himself free in the box to poke home a loose ball.
Marco Asensio grabbed an equalizer just minutes later, and it was fully deserved.
Unfortunately, it wasn't all good news for Real, which lost Asensio to a nasty knee injury. It was later confirmed to be a torn ACL and meniscus, which will likely cost the Spaniard the whole season.
The injury seemingly sucked the energy out of Real and allowed Arsenal back into the game, and the Gunners would have stolen a late victory if it had not been for Bale, who cleared a certain goal from Calum Chambers off the line.
The two sides ultimately needed penalties to separate themselves, and Bale looked to have cost his side as his tame effort was comfortably saved by Emiliano Martinez to give Arsenal an early advantage.
However, later misses from Nacho Monreal and young Robbie Burton saw Arsenal hand the game to Real.