Gareth Bale continued a fine run of recent form to further press his claims for a starting place against Liverpool in the Champions League final with a brace in Real Madrid’s 6-0 thrashing of Celta Vigo.
Bale was confined to the Madrid bench in every Champions League knockout match this season with the exception of the home quarter-final against Juventus, where he was substituted at half-time.
But the Wales star has put injury woes behind him to enter LaLiga’s final straight with a flourish and Sunday’s brilliant double – on the back of a fine equaliser in last weekend’s 2-2 Clasico draw at Barcelona – took him on to 18 goals for the season in all competitions.
A majestic third from Isco put the result beyond any doubt and teenage full-back Achraf Hakimi piled on further misery for Celta boss and former Barca assistant Juan Carlos Unzue, who saw defender Sergi Gomez put through his own goal 16 minutes from time.
Toni Kroos – the creative force behind many of Madrid’s best moments – completed the scoring as Los Blancos bid for a third consecutive European crown in Kiev nears.
Before that, Zinedine Zidane’s men could still pip Atletico Madrid to second behind Barcelona on LaLiga’s final weekend if they win at Villarreal and their neighbours – Europa League finalists this Wednesday – lose to Eibar.