Paul Clement labels Gareth Bale sending off as "completely out of character"

Paul Clement labels Gareth Bale sending off as "completely out of character"

Clement coached Bale when he was assistant coach at Real Madrid.

Ryan Fisher

Swansea City boss Paul Clement admitted he was surprised to see Gareth Bale being sent off for Real Madrid in midweek.

Bale, the second-most expensive player of all time, received just the second red card of his career with the score at 1-1 during Zinedine Zidane's side's clash with Las Palmas at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Swans manager Clement, who was assistant coach to Carlo Ancelotti when Bale arrived at Madrid, insisted that Bale will learn from the experience. He said: “It is very out of character. I did not see the game as I watched Man City and Huddersfield in the FA Cup, but I have never seen him do that before."

Clement continued, “It was a loss of control and he will learn from that very quickly. His discipline is outstanding, it is only his second red card which shows how good his discipline is.”

Britain's most expensive player has since apologised to his teammates for the dismissal, but questioned whether the incident warranted a straight red card.

Surprise to Clement

The Welshman tripped Jonathan Viera after the pair came to blows, with Bale then shoving the Spaniard to the ground, provoking the referee to issue the red card.

Clement also discussed his relationship with Welsh national boss Chris Coleman, and revealed he has had conversations about Bale in the past: “I know him well – we have shared a couple of rounds of goal and there is a mutual respect there. I've spoken to him in the past about Welsh players like Gareth.”

The game against Las Palmas was the first time Bale had started since a serious ankle injury sidelined him in November.

Real Madrid have chosen to appeal La Liga's decision to suspend the Welshman for two matches, which would limit vital game time and match sharpness ahead of Wales' World Cup qualifiers.