Thursday, April 25, 2019 04:49:43 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.
Independent think-tank Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) said when a government comes to power; it takes new initiatives in line with its electoral pledges. Yet nothing mentionable could be seen after the current government took office. It said an entrenched vested group is framing policies, taking the government in its ...
Southampton striker Shane Long scored the fastest goal in Premier League history on Tuesday after netting just 7.69 seconds into his side's 1-1 draw at Watford, who snatched a point thanks to Andre Gray's late equaliser.Long's record-breaking goal came immediately after the kick-off when he blocked a clearance from Watford ...
A new anti-Brexit political party launched its campaign Tuesday for next month's European Parliament elections as British lawmakers returned from their Easter break with rumours of fresh bids to topple Prime Minister Theresa May.Change UK, formed by breakaway MPs from Britain's two main parties disgruntled at their stances on Brexit, ...
Actress Sri Reddy who became a sensation for raising her voice against casting couch in Tollywood is back to making the headlines. Sri Reddy, on Friday, wrote an open letter to K Chandrasekhar Rao, Chief Minister of Telangana and requested him to personally investigate about the sexual harassment that is ...
Actress Priya Anand, who is popular for her roles in Telugu films 180, Ko Antey Koti and Leader, was trolled and called ‘bad luck’ for actors. Tamil actor JK Rithesh, who was recently seen in LKG, has passed away recently due to severe chest pain. Last year, actress Sridevi passed ...
AFP :Islamist suicide bombings that killed more than 300 people in Sri Lanka at the weekend were carried out in revenge for last month's attacks on two mosques in New Zealand, the government said Tuesday, citing an initial police probe.The revelation came as the death toll in the Easter Sunday ...
THE gas line explosion that killed two garment workers and injured six others in a residential block in Narayanganj on early Monday is not an isolated incident, rather an explicit exposure of the danger of derelict, faulty and illegal gas connections and substandard gas burner uses. We observe that incidents ...
Cristiano Ronaldo said on Saturday he is "1,000 percent committed" to staying with Juventus next season after claiming his first Serie A title.Massimiliano Allegri's side needed just one point to nail down its eighth straight league championship, which helped ease some of the pain of its shock Champions League exit ...
Reuters, Washington :Top congressional Democrats left the door open on Sunday to the impeachment of US President Donald Trump, but said they would first need to complete their own investigations into whether he obstructed justice in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe.Some party leaders have cautioned against impeachment just 18 ...