Gareth Bale marked his Real Madrid debut with a goal as his new club drew 2-2 away to Villarreal in La Liga.

The world's most expensive player was handed a start at El Madrigal by Real coach Carlo Ancelotti despite suffering an injury-interrupted past couple of months.

He missed most of pre-season with former club Tottenham Hotspur and was only fit enough to play half an hour as a substitute for Wales against Serbia in midweek.

However he lined up on the right-hand side for Real as part of an attacking trio which also included Isco and Cristiano Ronaldo providing support to lone striker Karim Benzema.

It took nearly six minutes for Bale to have his first touch when he laid the ball off for his former Spurs team-mate Luka Modric but from that move Villarreal broke forward and almost scored as Diego Lopez denied Jonathan Pereira.

Villarreal were the better team for much of the first half and Pereira forced Lopez into another point-blank save on 14 minutes after he had been left unmarked at the far post from a corner.

On 17 minutes Real were awarded their first free-kick in a dangerous position and Bale went over to get involved but his predecessor as the world's most expensive player - Ronaldo - held sway and took the set-piece.

Ronaldo was off target and four minutes later Villarreal were in front when the ball broke for Cani inside the area and he steered his shot past Lopez.

Bale swapped wings with Ronaldo midway through the first half but continued to struggle to get involved in the game as Lopez made two fine stops to deny Javier Aquino.