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Real Madrid 2-2 Valencia: Match Report and Player Ratings

Real Madrid were held to a draw by a resilient Valencia squad despite a stellar Asensio performance.

Valencia CF came to the Bernabeu after two disappointing seasons, finishing in the bottom ten in both of those. Despite this, the club managed to sign Frenchman Geoffrey Kondogbia from Inter, a player wanted by Arsenal and other big clubs.

Real Madrid had their fair share of problems coming into the game too, with Sergio Ramos suspended and Varane injured. This meant that Real had only one senior centre-back available, with central midfielder Casemiro being drafted in to start in that position.

Los Blancos appealed for a penalty early on after Valencia defender Ruben Vezo’s attempt to control the ball appeared to hit his hand. The spot kick was not awarded, but it didn’t really matter, as Marco Asensio picked up the ball and slotted it into the bottom corner from just outside the box. This was Asensio’s third goal in four games. If the Spaniard does keep his form going, Gareth Bale’s position in the first team will be in jeopardy.

Valencia equalised almost instantly as some good wing play led to a dangerous cross, finding Carlos Soler, who in turn found the net.

Real were unusually quiet after the equaliser, and didn’t get a shot on goal until 15 minutes later.

Zidane’s men could’ve been at least two goals up at the break if it wasn’t for Karim Benzema and his finishing. First, the striker hit a shot straight at the goalkeeper’s legs. The resulting corner resulted in Benzema’s header hitting the post. Just before the break, Benzema headed another corner wide and also missed from five yards.

The second half, similar to the first, consisted of many failed efforts at goal from either side. Valencia did manage to get the goal to put them ahead as newcomer Kondogbia side-footed the ball into the net.

With a few minutes left, no Bale or Ronaldo, Real got a free-kick in a good position. Marco Asensio took it upon himself and curled the ball past the ball, equalising for Real.

Karim Benzema could have grabbed the late winner, but he missed from 10 yards (again), capping off a disappointing night for him.

Player Ratings:

Real Madrid: Navas 6; Carvajal 7, Casemiro 7, Nacho 6, Marcelo 7; Modric 6, Kroos 7, Isco 6; Bale 7, Benzema 5, Asensio 8.

Valencia: Neto 6; Montoya 6, Vezo 7, Murillo 6, Lato 7; Soler 7, Parejo 6, Kondogbia 8, Gaya 6; Zaza 7, Rodrigo 5. 

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