Real Madrid hosted rivals Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu and it was definitely a match to remember. Just a couple of weeks after winning the UEFA Super Cup Los Blancos set their sight on the Spanish Super Cup.
Asensio picked up right where he left off in the first-leg of the Super Cup. Having scored a screamer in the dying minutes of the first match, the Spanish wonder lit up the Bernabeu like flame hitting kerosene in just the 4th minute to make it 1-0 early on.
Karim Benzema scored near the end of the first half after a crisp pass from Marcelo to set himself up for a half-volley. Benzema’s superb finish sealed the deal for Madrid as the match ended 2-0 leaving Real victorious.
To the surprise of many, Zidane played three up front for the return leg of the Cup rather than the two up front for the first leg. Neither Gareth Bale nor Cristiano Ronaldo played in last night’s match, the former confined to the bench while the latter served his five match sentence for pushing the referee in the first game.
We thought they would play with two forwards – Jordi Alba admitting Barcelona was duped by Zidane.
RealSport takes a look at five things we learned about Real Madrid from the game.
1. Asensio isn’t just for the future
Clubs around Europe are forever scouting for the next biggest and greatest talent and Madrid have done a fine job of doing just that. Asensio could have ended up at Barcelona had they been willing to cough up the extra 1 million Euro’s, and there is no doubt they’re regretting that decision now.
Asensio’s goals in both games of the Cup as well as against Juventus in the UCL Final show just how big of a player he is at such a young age. Marco is the first player to score in the debut of every competition he played in whilst wearing the Real Madrid uniform.
|European Super Cup||Sevilla FC|
|La Liga||Real Sociedad|
|Champions League||Legia Warsaw|
|Copa del Rey||Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa|
|Spanish Super Cup||Barcelona FC|
Asensio’s poise and scoring abilities show he is ready to fill the spot when Ronaldo or Bale are unavailable, scoring in both legs from 30-yards out, past a world class goal keeper.
2. No Ronaldo no problem
The Portuguese international was missing from last night’s victory due to his five game suspension but Real Madrid looked just as complete without him. Ronaldo being the heart of the attack may have been a worry to some given his absence but others used those minutes given in superb fashion.
Goals coming from Asensio in both legs and Benzema in the second spoke volumes to other teams across Europe that though their main man may not be present, they are still a force to be reckoned with.
After being sent off for his alleged dive Ronaldo played only 20 minutes over the course of both games and in his absence there was no shortage of attack. Lucas Vasquez amongst others provided ample support to the attack in and around Ter Stegen.
3. Benzema in the driver’s seat
With the departure of Morata, there was much concern as to who would fill the number 9 position in lieu of Benzema in the unfortunate event of injury or poor form that may ensue. Benzema silenced his critics and showed them he is here to stay.
The 29-year-old showed no signs of slowing down with a wonderful self-set volley into the bottom right corner of the goal. With a 76% passing success rate, 4 shots on target as well as his goal it was a great night at the office for the Frenchman.
4. Bale becomes more obsolete
During the time Gareth Bale was recovering from his injury last season Zidane found he had midfielders like Isco, Asensio, and Vasquez filling in extremely effectively. All of these options can do what Bale does, and in some cases they better the Welsh winger. Last night was no different and a healthy and match fit Bale was margnialised from Zidane’s matchday plans.
5. Madrid look to retain the title
Having such a dominant performance against Barcelona sends shockwaves through Europe. Though Real were beaten by Manchester United and Barcelona in pre-season, Zidane and company won when it mattered most.
Two cup finals against both those teams and neither one really seemed to have much chance of getting back in the game and winning. Such fantastic results for Madrid may turn the three man horse race in La Liga into a more fierce city rivalry and put an even bigger target on their backs in the UCL.
Last season Zizou etched his and Real Madrid’s name into the history books with back to back UCL wins, he may just be starting on his trophy haul as the La Liga campaign kicks off this weekend.
Team is still hungry. You see that in every game. – Zidane on Madrid after last nights win
- Gone 68 games scoring at least one goal in every game
- Zidane has won more titles as a Madrid manager than player in just a year and a half
- Real have already won 4 titles in 2017 thus far
- Zidane’s Madrid have won 7 of the 9 titles they have fought for
Should Real Madrid sell Bale? Will they retain the La Liga crown? Should Asensio be given more starts and minutes?
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