Madrid boss Ancelotti defends under-fire Bale

Carlo Ancelotti jumped to the defence of Gareth Bale after the Real Madrid star was jeered during Saturday's win over Espanyol.

Real cruised to a routine 3-0 victory over the Barcelona-based club at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Bale among the goalscorers after netting a fine free-kick in the first half.

James Rodriguez broke the deadlock after 12 minutes and defender Nacho Fernandez ultimately wrapped things up towards the end, with Fabio Coentrao's controversial red card having little adverse impact on the hosts.

But much of the focus of Ancelotti's post-match press conference centred on the crowd's treatment of Bale, who was widely jeered after failing to tee up Cristiano Ronaldo when through on goal in the second half.

The Italian said: "He [Bale] has played a very good game. He scored and starred for the first goal, then the fans ask for the pass to Cristiano. 

"Altruism is important and if someone is selfish, we will fix it. People demand a lot to the major players and Bale is one of those.

"This is football. The relationship between them [Ronaldo and Bale] and among everyone is very good. 

"We all work for the same goal, which is to bring to Madrid to the top. There is no need to talk about this."

Real's position was momentarily put in question in the 53rd minute when Coentrao received a straight red following a collision with Espanyol's Jose Canas and, although it did not prove costly, Ancelotti slammed the decision.

"I have not understood the expulsion of Coentrao," he added. 

"I find it and incomprehensible decision. It complicated the game. [But] we managed well with a man less."

The result moved Real four points clear at the summit of La Liga.