Real Madrid 2-2 Valencia: Marco Asensio's double earns Real a draw
By Dan Long
Last Updated: 28/08/17 9:25am
Marco Asensio scored two stunning goals to spare Real Madrid's blushes in a 2-2 draw at home to Valencia on Sunday night.
The 21-year-old was in the starting line-up following Sergio Ramos' red card against Deportivo La Coruna last weekend and proved why Zinedine Zidane has handed him a starring role this season when he opened the scoring with just 10 minutes on the clock.
It looked like Valencia could then be on the end of a typical dominant Real performance, but Carlos Soler slotted an equaliser from Toni Lato's low cross (18) to level the match.
Real looked the stronger side in the second half, but could have fallen to a rare defeat when debutant Geoffrey Kondogbia beat Keylor Navas after Rodrigo's pull-back (77).
Real Madrid: Navas (7), Carvajal (6), Casemiro, (6), Nacho (6), Marcelo (6), Kroos (6), Modric (7), Isco (5), Bale (6), Asensio (8), Benzema (5)
Subs: Kovacic (6), Vasquez (5), Mayoral (N/A)
Valencia: Neto (6), Montoya (5), Vezo (6), Murillo (6), Lato (6), Soler (7), Parejo (6), Kondogbia (7), Gaya (6), Rodrigo (7), Zaza (6)
Subs: Vidal (75), Gil de Pareja (5), Mina (N/A)
Man of the match: Marco Asensio
Asensio continued his fine scoring run six minutes later (83) when he curled a free-kick past Valencia stopper Neto.
Earlier, after the muted celebrations of the long-awaited La Liga trophy presentation, Madrid had got the game off to a confident start, stitching passing sequences together before they asserted themselves on the game just 10 minutes in through Asensio.
Capitalising on Rodrigo's lacklustre pass on the edge of the area, Asensio shifted his weight to the right, picked his spot and dispatched his shot past Neto - the goal marked a record-breaking 70th consecutive game in which Real have scored.
There was one change for Real Madrid as Marco Asensio replaced the suspended Sergio Ramos. For Valencia, Geoffrey Kondogbia was handed his debut.
Real were pegged back when Lato's breathless run down the left was rewarded as Soler smartly side-footed past Navas.
Karim Benzema probably should have added to the scoreline towards the end of the first period, first forcing a low save from Neto after a swift break, then glancing Isco's cross just wide of the area.
It was Valencia who looked as though they might win it 13 minutes from time when the dominant figure of Kondogbia placed a shot under Navas from Rodrigo's pull-back.
It clearly wasn't to be for Benzema as he missed a handful of chances, but as Mateo Kovacic was tripped on the edge of the box inside the last five minutes, there was one man who the evening belonged to. Asensio stepped up and bent a free-kick round the wall, leaving Neto rooted to the spot.
In the final moments, Benzema headed Lucas Vasquez's cross at Neto - forcing the stopper into a stunning save - and Simone Zaza had a late penalty shout turned down as the breathless encounter finished all square.
Man of the match - Marco Asensio
Though Kondogbia ran a very close second place, there was no other player who deserved this accolade more than 21-year-old Marco Asensio.
He's already been making waves for the Los Blancos, but he stepped up and took his chance, in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, in his stride.
Two beautifully taken goals and a whole lot of confidence.
The two sides now head into the international break, with both back in action on Saturday, September 9. Los Blancos host Levante at midday, while Valencia welcome Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid to the Mestalla at 3.15pm.