Pitchside

European Team of the Week: Gareth Bale Bites Back!

Pitchside

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Gareth Bale was roundly criticised after a disappointing performance in Real Madrid's defeat to Sevilla last week.

That surprise loss saw Madrid slip to third in La Liga, as Barcelona moved into contention behind pace-setters Atletico Madrid.

But Bale - who has been a touch inconsistent in his first season at Madrid - bounced back in style, with two goals and an assist in a rampaging performance against Rayo Vallecano. Such was Real's dominance in the 5-0 win on Saturday that right-back Daniel Carvajal also makes our XI.

Special mention must also go to Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus, who did his chances of a big-money transfer no harm with a hat-trick against Stuttgart, and the elder statesmen that are Kaka, Luca Toni and Claudio Pizarro, bringing the mid-00s back to your screens.

For the full breakdown behind each player's inclusion, see Opta's table below the team graphic...

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