Marco Asensio Rescues Real Madrid Against Valencia
Spanish champions Real Madrid had to rely on two stunning strikes from a relentless Marco Asensio as they drew 2-2 at home to Valencia on Sunday while Sevilla grabbed a scarcely deserved first win of the campaign by beating Getafe 1-0.
Madrid: Spanish champions Real Madrid had to rely on two stunning strikes from a relentless Marco Asensio as they drew 2-2 at home to Valencia on Sunday while Sevilla grabbed a scarcely deserved first win of the campaign by beating Getafe 1-0.
Asensio, 21, delighted the Santiago Bernabeu with a long- range opening strike but Valencia scored two impressive team goals either side of the break through homegrown youngster Carlos Soler and debutant Geoffrey Kondogbia.
Marcelino’s side led with 13 minutes to go, forcing Asensio to rescue Real with a superb free kick in the 83rd minute.
Madrid missed the presence of their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo and captain Sergio Ramos through suspension but almost stole the three points in stoppage-time when Karim Benzema’s shot was turned on to the post by Valencia goalkeeper Neto.
“We’ve paid for the intense month we’ve had,” said Real defender Dani Carvajal after his side’s fifth competitive game in 20 days.
“We had all types of chances and we could have got more from the game but Valencia are very strong opponents and they’ve taken a point off us.”
Valencia coach Marcelino added: “We have to congratulate ourselves for how we played and the result. We leave here feeling very good about ourselves.”
Real Madrid have four points from two games heading into the international break while Barcelona, Real Sociedad and Leganes won both their opening matches.
Asensio, who is proving to be a specialist at sensational goals, struck for the third time this season to give Madrid the lead in the 10th minute.
The Mallorcan picked the ball up 30 metres out and headed straight towards the goal, pinging it into the bottom corner with an exquisite finish from outside the area.
Valencia responded with a perfectly executed team move between three academy graduates. Jose Gaya began the play with a darting run down the left and released 19-year-old Toni Lato who delivered the cross which Soler crashed past Keylor Navas.
Madrid took a while to digest the equaliser but nearly went ahead again before the break, as Karim Benzema was denied by a fine low save by Neto.
Madrid spurned two further chances before the interval but in the second half they found it much harder to get through this organised Valencia side, who look vastly improved from last season.
Luka Modric fired a shot at Neto from range which the Brazilian tipped away but Valencia did most of the attacking, with Kondogbia and Simone Zaza missing the target and Navas tipping away a rocket from visiting captain Dani Parejo.
Their second goal was another expertly crafted move, with Gaya bursting into the box and working the ball to Rodrigo Moreno who held it up for Kondogbia to crash the ball beyond Navas.
Asensio, however, had other ideas.
Sevilla, who finished fourth last season, produced another unconvincing display at Getafe and are still finding their feet under Berizzo, but earned the win thanks to a moment of inspiration from Ganso.
The Brazilian was being tightly marked when Gabriel Mercado’s cross came his way in the area and he nonchalantly stuck out his right foot to flick the ball into the far corner in the 83rd minute.
Athletic Bilbao earned a first win under coach Jose Angel Ziganda by beating fellow Basque side Eibar 1-0 away and Leganes won 1-0 at Espanyol.