Thursday, September 20, 2018 09:37:11 PM
Real Madrid shrugged off the absence of the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo to cruise past rivals Barcelona 2-0 in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup to cap a 5-1 aggregate win.
Ronaldo was slapped with a five-game ban for pushing the referee after he was sent off in the first leg, but his replacement Marco Asensio enhanced his reputation as one of world football's rising stars as he smashed Madrid into the lead after just four minutes.
Karim Benzema then deservedly doubled Real's lead before half-time. Barca responded with a more spirited second-half showing and were unfortunate not to at least pull a goal back as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez hit the woodwork.
Victory continues Madrid's run of success under Zinedine Zidane with the European champions now having lifted seven trophies in the 20 months since the Frenchman took charge.
"We played a great match tonight," said Zidane. "Especially in the first half it was spectacular."
Zidane even had the luxury of leaving first-team regulars Gareth Bale, Isco and Casemiro on the bench as Real's strength in depth was demonstrated in a dominant first 45 minutes.
"This team has hunger and every time we play it shows," added Zidane.
"We have to try to continue like this. To start the season like this is very good, but we know a long season is just starting."
In similar fashion to his strike in the first leg, 21-year-old Asensio sent an unstoppable left-footed shot past Marc-Andre ter Stegen into the top corner from outside the box.
"I think we were superior across the whole tie," Asensio told Spanish TV station Telecinco.
However, he rejected suggestions he is now ahead of Bale in Zidane's pecking order.
"I am working to have as many minutes as possible on the field.
"I am happy on both a collective and individual level."
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has suffered the worst possible start to his reign with back-to-back defeats against the Catalans fiercest rivals and the visitors never threatened to mount a comeback after conceding.
"We have to recover quickly, the league is on the horizon," said Valverde, ahead of Barca's La Liga opener against Real Betis on Sunday.
Shorn of Neymar after his world record breaking transfer to Paris Saint-Germain and injured captain Andres Iniesta, Barca's star front two lacked the service needed to make a meaningful impact.
"In three days we find ourselves against the ropes," added Valverde.
"Things have happened in pre-season that have affected the balance of the team and our job is to refind that balance."
Indeed, the scoreline could have been a lot more embarrassing for Barca as Marcelo dragged wide before Lucas Vazquez hit the post with a glorious chance.
The hosts finally doubled their lead six minutes before the break when Benzema nipped in front of Umtiti and slotted past Ter Stegen.
An 11:00 pm kick-off time meant half-time saw Wednesday turn to Thursday and Barca did at least salvage some pride in the early morning with an improved second-half display.
Messi was desperately unlucky not to net a consolation goal as he hit the underside of the bar from a narrow angle.
The visitors' night was summed up when Suarez headed against the post with the goal gaping after Navas had parried Messi's driven shot into his path.
And there could be even worse news to come for Barca as Suarez ended the game visibly suffering from a knee injury that Valverde said will be assessed on Thursday.
Tributes flowed Wednesday for charismatic Japanese Mixed Martial Artist ( MMA) Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, who died at age 41, three weeks after announcing a battle with cancer.Born to a family of wrestlers and martial artists, the wiry, tattoo-covered Yamamoto took on larger opponents in a wide range of MMA events, ...
A STUDY has revealed that 4,300 acres of hills and forests have been razed in Cox's Bazar to set up refugee camps and cooking fuel for Rohingyas who fled ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Quoting the study, news media reported that about 3,000-4,000 acres of hill land at Teknaf and Ukhia ...
AP, Pyongyang :The leaders of North and South Korea announced a wide range of agreements Wednesday which they said were a major step toward peace on the Korean Peninsula. But the premier pledge on denuclearization contained a big condition, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stating he'd permanently dismantle ...
Stormy Daniels, the porn star who claims to have slept with Donald Trump over a decade ago, says in her upcoming tell-all book that it may have been the "least impressive sex" she'd ever had, The Guardian reported Tuesday.In her book, "Full Disclosure," Daniels also provides a graphic description of ...
Actor Hina Khan believes Bigg Boss helped her showcase her real personality, which is that of a woman who does not shy away from speaking her mind. The actor became one of the most talked about contestants on the 11th edition of the reality TV show, which has just begun ...
PAKISTAN government has decided to grant nationality to all Pakistan-born refugees of Bangladeshi and Afghan origins staying there for decades. Prime Minister Mr Imran Khan on Sunday made this announcement during his maiden visit to Karachi, saying the Bangladeshi and Afghan refugees who were born in Pakistan would get National ...
AFP, Barcelona :FIFA president Gianni Infantino has expressed concern about La Liga's proposal to stage a fixture between Girona and Barcelona in the United States.The two clubs have each approved a request submitted to the Spanish Football Federation for the match to be played at the Hard Rock Stadium in ...
Actress Annie Sekhon who has worked in many television shows and Punjabi films is having the time of her life. Off late she's been enjoying the success of her latest Punjabi film, 'Punjab Singh' opposite Gurjind Maan. The hangover of this film hasn't even faded yet and she's taking a ...
Best Drama Series: Game of ThronesBest Comedy Series: The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselBest Actor, Drama Series: Matthew Rhys, The AmericansBest Actress, Drama Series: Claire Foy, The CrownBest Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Peter Dinklage, Game of ThronesBest Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Thandie Newton, WestworldBest Writing, Drama Series: Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, ...
Reuters, Washington :U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday the United States would cap the number of refugees allowed into the country at 30,000 for fiscal year 2019, a sharp drop from a limit of 45,000 it set for 2018."We proposed resettling up to 30,000 refugees under the ...
EDITORS' Council on Saturday expressed its surprise, dissatisfaction, and shock at the final report of a parliamentary standing committee on the draft Digital Security Act which totally ignored the concerns expressed by journalists. Following disapproval from journalists, rights campaigners and foreign diplomats in Dhaka, the Law Minister earlier had admitted ...