Asensio helps Real Madrid to victory over Las Palmas

Real Madrid bounced back from their defeat to Tottenham in the Champions League in midweek by cruising to a 3-0 win over Las Palmas on Sunday, thanks in no small part to a stunning goal from Marco Asensio.

Both sides went into the game needing wins, albeit for very different reasons. Real were keen to show that suggestions of a ‘crisis’ were wide of the mark, whilst the visitors were desperately looking to add to their rather meagre total of just six points for the season so far.

Las Palmas started reasonably well, getting on the ball and looking reasonably confident despite their struggles. However, they could and should have gone 1-0 down with just four minutes on the clock. The hosts gave the ball away on halfway and Real countered at blistering pace. Cristiano Ronaldo sent Karim Benzema racing clear but the Frenchman fired straight at Raul Lizoain when he really should have scored.

Marco Asensio headed straight at the goalkeeper immediately afterwards from Isco’s cross as Real threatened early on.

Las Palmas looked a danger on the counter though with Vitolo in particular a bright presence. The winger wriggled away from his marker after 12 minutes and squeezed a shot past Kiko Casilla at the near post but Jesus Vallejo was on hand to hack the ball clear.

Barring the early chance for Benzema, the first half was one of very few gilt-edged chances.

Ronaldo fired into the side netting after receiving the ball with his back to goal and holding off Lemos, before the Portuguese saw two free kicks repelled by the wall.

The away side could have posed Real more questions with better decision making, with one example coming after 27 minutes when Vicente Gomez made the wrong choice to ruin a promising counter.

They were almost made to pay immediately as Ronaldo cut in from the right and grazed the far post with a low strike as Real started to turn the screw.

Marco Asensio, Nacho and Marcelo all missed the target with efforts from range as Real struggled to create the sort of chances we have become accustomed to seeing from them.

In the end, Real looked at their most threatening in the air. Ronaldo headed a cross from Marcelo straight at Lizoain before Benzema somehow failed to connect with a beautiful ball in from the right from Asensio.

The hosts did manage to find the breakthrough though and it came just before the break, as Casemiro rose to meet Asensio’s corner from the right at the far post and head it back across Lizoain and into the far corner.

That goal meant that Real went into the break with a deserved lead and they started the second half as they had ended the first, on the front foot.

Both sides had penalty appeals waved away by the officials before Marco Asensio took centre stage.

A free kick from the right was punched away by Lizoain but only as far as the edge of the box where the youngster was waiting. The Spaniard met the ball first time, sending it flying high into the roof of the net with his wand of a left foot to give Real an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Toni Kroos, seemingly inspired by his team-mate then took aim from range with his fierce swerving effort somehow being kept out by a strong, if somewhat uncertain left hand from Lizoain.

Real were in control now and Ronaldo continued his one-man search for a goal as he cut in from the left and fizzed an effort just over the angle of post and bar with 70 minutes on the clock.

Unable to find the net himself, the Portuguese turned provider four minutes later as he crossed for Isco to tuck home and add some gloss to the scoreline, though the visitors were left enraged by the referee’s failure to award them a free kick for a foul on Vitolo by Sergio Ramos in the build-up.

Ronaldo again fluffed his lines after being put in by Kroos late on, before Sergio Ramos saw a deflected effort brilliantly saved by Lizoain, who somehow managed to tip it onto the crossbar.

By that stage though, the points were in the bag for Zinedine Zidane’s side, who must now prepare themselves to face unbeaten neighbours Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano after the international break.

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