Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale was forced off during the win over Sporting. Getty

Real Madrid required a late and fortunate comeback to open their Champions League title defence with a victory, scoring twice at the death to secure a 2-1 win over Sporting. However, the win came at a price as Gareth Bale suffered a knock during the match that could rule him out of the trip to Espanyol.

Los Blancos were second best for much of the match, with Bruno Cesar giving the Portuguese side the lead in the first half. However, Cristiano Ronaldo equalised with an 89th minute free-kick, before Alvaro Morata completed the turnaround with a 94th-minute winner.

Bale, however, missed both goals after being replaced in the 67th minute by Lucas Vazquez.

Teammate Raphael Varane confirmed after the game that Welsh hero left the Santiago Bernabeu limping due to a hip knock. However, he added he hoped the former Spurs star would be available for the upcoming La Liga game at Espanyol on 18 September.

"It's a knock, nothing serious," the Frenchman said after the game, as quoted by Marca. "Hopefully he'll be with us [at Espanyol] because he's very important and helps the team a lot."

Marca adds that Bale will need to undergo a medical test on Friday to ascertain his availability for the weekend.

Zinedine Zidane did not address the issue in his post-match press conference, but hailed his team's mental strength in beating Sporting.

"We're Real Madrid and we know that every game will be tough and that our opponents will make it hard for us. We didn't throw the towel in and that's important," the boss said. "The effort put in was tremendous. When you win a game in this manner it means a lot to the squad. That's what I take away with me and I go home with a smile on my face and feeling very relaxed. We can't win all of our games 5-0. Today we had to dig in, but we got the three points."