Marco Asensio destined for great things

Marco Asensio’s growing reputation reached new heights as he took centre stage early.

The talented midfielder thundered home a thumping shot from the edge of the box after just four minutes in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup after scoring in Sunday’s first leg.

Asensio also proved he is a player for the big occasion last season with a goal in the Champions League final win over Juventus.

His goal in Sunday’s win meant Asensio achieved what no other player in history has ever done before- scoring on his debut for any club in five different competitions.

With the World Cup only a year away, it looks as though Spain have already found their star of the next generation.

Barcelona in turmoil

But there is serious concern about Real Madrid’s opponents after being demolished by the Spanish champions.

Barcelona still haven’t replaced Neymar since he moved to Paris Saint-Germain.

Paulinho was recently confirmed as their latest signing to the dismay of Barcelona’s fans.

Deals for Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele are reportedly close despite Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund respectively denying either will be sold.

However, Barcelona looked in dire straits against Real over two legs – and Cristiano Ronaldo only played 20 minutes.

No Ronaldo? No problem

Cristiano Ronaldo stole the headlines in Sunday’s match with a sensational strike but a second yellow followed by a shove on the referee led to him being handed a five-match ban.

It could have proved costly with the Portugal international often at the heart of Madrid’s attack.

But he wasn’t needed against their biggest rivals with Karim Benzema flanked by Asensio and Lucas Vazquez.

Bale surplus to requirements

Gareth Bale’s future at Real continues to be shrouded in doubt after the Wales international was omitted from Zinedine Zidane’s starting line-up.

It could be argued he wasn’t needed but there lies the problem for Bale.

He was signed from Tottenham in 2013 for a then-world record fee of £86million and was expected to take the mantle from Cristiano Ronaldo.

But injury problems have plagued his four years at the Bernabeu leading to jeers from supporters.

Valverde looks out of his depth

Barcelona surprised a number of people by appointing Ernesto Valverde as Luis Enrique’s successor at the end of last season.

Facing Real Madrid in his first two competitive games and having to re-build a side that has lost one of it’s main superstars in Neymar isn’t easy.

But the signing of Paulinho has failed to inspire Barcelona fans and with Madrid seemingly growing stronger, there is already questions whether Valverde is the man for the job.

Source link

Betting On Football?

*Join BET365*

  • Get a €/£200 1st Deposit Bonus
  • Big selection of in-play markets
  • Live streaming of Over 60,000 sporting events
  • Best Odds Guaranteed on all UK/Irish Horse Racing
  • Bet365 Cashout lets you take a return on your bet before the market for your chosen selection closes.
Get your €/£200 Bonus Here