Marco Asensio is well past the point of being on fire as he scored his second stunning strike in less than a week against Real Madrid’s bitter rivals Barcelona. He still won silverware with the club as well, as they claimed their second Champions League title in as many years.
“We played very well in the away leg and we had a great game tonight, above all in the first half, which was spectacular”, Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. “We have to try to continue like this”.
However, we all know that when it comes to figures, manipulation is the key word.
But in 21-year-old attacking midfielder Asensio, they have one of Europe’s most talented youngsters, and four minutes in, he fired home an excellent shot that left Marc-Andre ter Stegen rooted to the spot.
And he started the new campaign strongly by scoring an absolute worldie of a goal against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup first leg.
“I think we were superior across the whole tie”, Asensio told Spanish TV station Telecinco.
Guardiola came through Barcelona’s youth system to star in Johan Cruyff’s feted “Dream Team” before returning as head coach to lead an unprecedented spell of success at home and overseas between 2008 and 2012.
The midweek defeat completed a tumultuous pre-season for Barca following the world-record departure of star forward Neymar and Valverde – a replacement for Luis Enrique – said the Catalan giants must recover and find their balance in the absence of the Brazilian star, now playing for Paris Saint-Germain. “In spite of the fact that it will be tough, we have a chance and we will go for it”, added Valverde.
It was yet another gem of a goal from a player who always makes an impact every time he’s on the pitch, whether that be from the off or from the bench.
Messi was desperately unlucky not to net a consolation goal as he hit the underside of the bar from a narrow angle.
Barca found goal-scoring opportunities hard to come by and Karim Benzema outwitted Samuel Umtiti to double Madrid’s lead on the night shortly before half-time at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Will Valverde find his new Neymar?