LNTUP

Real Madrid Returned To Winning Ways After Two Back To Back Defeats

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Marco Asensio struck an instant classic as Real Madrid returned to winning ways with a 3-0 victory over Las Palmas.

After back-to-back defeats at the hands of Girona and Tottenham, a much-needed success for Zinedine Zidane’s side was topped and tailed by efforts from Casemiro and Isco.

Asensio’s will linger longest in the memory, an inconceivably sweet half-volley which mixed rare precision with maximum power.

Three points still leaves Real eight points adrift of rivals and LaLiga leaders Barcelona but the mini-slump has at least been emphatically arrested.

Real came looking for an early goal and almost had one in the bank in the fourth minute. Ronaldo’s quick feet played Karim Benzema through on goal but he failed to get the ball fully out of his feet and his scuffed finish was safely smothered by Raul.

Kiko Casilla was forced into action at the other end after 11 minutes, Atletico Madrid loanee Vitolo skipping past Sergio Ramos before being denied at the near post, but from there it was all Real.

Ronaldo had a couple of presentable chances, lashing a thunderous effort into the side-netting having left Pedro Bigas on his backside and heading straight at Raul from eight yards from Marcelo’s cross.

After neat build-up work from Isco and Toni Kroos in the 27th minute he came closer still, cutting inside and curling a low shot against the outside of the post from 20 yards.

The mood was becoming tense in the Bernabeu but nerves were settled before half-time. Casemiro had a couple of helping hands, Asensio’s teasing corner and an inadvertent assist from Jonathan Calleri, but the final touch was well taken.

Las Palmas were unlucky not to win a penalty eight minutes after the restart, Vitolo tugged back by Casemiro in the box. The Real goalscorer had a clear handful of yellow shirt but the referee was unmoved.

Within 90 seconds it was 2-0, with Asensio celebrating his perfect strike. Kroos’ drifting free kick was punched clear but only as far the Majorcan midfielder, whose delicious left-footed hit soared into the top corner.

It quickly became a question of margin rather than result, Raul deceived by a swerving Kroos strike soon after. Having initially misread the flight he flung out a glove and was fortunate to see his parry land safe.

Ronaldo laid the third goal on a plate for Isco, whipping the ball across the box towards the far post, but could not find a finish of his own.

He flicked the woodwork twice more, a curler from 20 yards kissing the crossbar and a full-blooded strike making similar contact with the frame.

Ramos also went close, a deflected effort well tipped against the bar by Raul, but Pako Ayesteran’s side survived without further damage.