Asensio’s magic left leg has saved Real from defeat

30 August 2017

On the eve of the first home game of Real Madrid in La Liga new season the celebration of local "royal club" was held - Marcelo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos have presented to their fans 3 trophies at once – La Liga champion’s title that was won last season and also UEFA Super Cup and Spanish Super Cup which have been won already this season. But gala night on Santiago Bernabéu has been saddened by loss of points by Real which hasn't managed to overcome traditionally inconvenient Valencia.

Asensio’s magic left leg

Zinedine Zidane was facing the match against Valencia with some squad problems which have been connected first of all with the center of defense - Varane hasn't recovered yet from an injury and Ramos has to experience disqualification for an early bath in the first round against Deportivo. Thus Casimiro had to protect the hole in the center of defense. Kroos has taken place in the basic zone, slightly above him were Isco and Modrić, and place of the disqualified Ronaldo on the left wing of the attack was given to Asensio who rarely has an opportunity to play in the starting line-up of Los Merengues.

But also Valencia had some problems with the squad and the main problems have been connected also with the central axis of the defensive line - Garay and Gabriel were not able to play because of injuries therefore Marcelino had to count only on pair of new football players Murillo - Vezo. It is quite possible that the coach of Levantines would play three central defenders if he had such opportunity. Besides, Nani who is the main star of “Bats” is still ill.

Real predictably initiated strong beginning of this home meeting and for Levantines it was important to endure this pressure and then they could have opportunities to gain some points on Santiago Bernabéu. But guests couldn't survive even ten minutes and the first goal has been scored - Asensio has picked up the ball in the opponent's half of the field, has dragged it through the central axis, and nobody has managed to stop him. But this missed goal hasn't depressed football players of Valencia, and quickly enough they have managed to even the score – Soler who for some reason has been left unguarded on the line of the goalkeeper area has quietly closed the cross from the left wing.

Asensio’s magic left leg has saved Real

After this missed goal Real didn't rush to the attack in order to score the second goal, having realized seriousness of the problems in defense line where Casimiro couldn't secure reliability as Ramos or Varane did. Someone had to secure the Brazilian, and this fact immobilized the actions of Los Merengues. But at the end of the half-time they have rolled up their sleeves and the status of the main star was taken by Benzema. The Frenchman had an opportunity to make a hat trick before a break but then Benzema would be not Benzema. Everything began with fast counterattack which was initiated by Karim through the central axis and he kicked from 17 meters in a bottom corner - Neto has dragged a ball with finger-tips. After corner kick Benzema sent a header. And the last two attacks of the first half have ended with surprising misses of Benzema who firstly has sent a ball into the skies after Bale's cross, and then his header didn't hit the gate after Kroos's assist. As a result the first half has ended in a draw.

After the break Zidane has decided to reconstruct a little bit the middle line of the team for more defensive triangle, having sent instead of Isco Kovačić. But at the same time Los Galácticos were still rushing to the attack, and Kovačić had to help his team to avoid ends and to clean partners’ mistakes in the middle line that could give more freedom to Kroos. Even Casimiro in such situation wasn't afraid to move forward any more, and once had kicked strongly but the goalkeeper nevertheless had saved the team. A bit later Modrić had kicked above the gate from advantageous position after spicy assist from the wing then Bale sent the header over "nine" and again Modrić sent a long-ranger into a bottom corner, but Neto was magnificent.

Valencia wasn't playing only on its half of the field and regularly ran in counterattacks many of them were rather powerful but they didn't manage to create direct and productive shot for a long time. Nevertheless guests continued to look for happiness in counterattacks and eventually good luck smiled to "Bats" – Kondogbia has closed the left cross from the center of penalty area. It seemed that everything is lost and it would be the first Real’s defeat in a season but Asensio became the savior of his team due to his accurate shot from penalty area.

Real had several minutes for salvation and the hosts had really great moment after Asensio 's ball ricocheted in the center of penalty area on Benzem who had all chances to score but even in this episode Karim had managed to miss the gate, having caused Real fans’ hysterical laughter. And during added time Benzema sent the header from the right but Neto saved the team again. To tell the truth, Los Galácticos was not fated to win. The team was lucky enough not to lose - Zaza could bring a victory in the last counterattack but he didn’t have enough time for this. 2:2 – the team of Zinédine Zidane had lost the points for the first time this season. In two weeks Los Merengues will host one more team from Valencia – Levante.

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