Real Madrid crossed to a 3-0 victory over Valencia on Thursday at Alfredo Di Stefano stadium in Madrid Castilla.
Zinedine Zidane’s men deservedly earned a win that pushes them back up to just two points away from Barcelona’s lead. On the other hand, Valencia’s disappointment compounded by their zero goals as well as Lee Kang-in’s late red card.
Now, on Sunday, Madrid is on the road with a trip to Real Sociedad, while on the same day, Valencia welcomes Osasuna.
Marco Asensio scored for Real in his long-awaited return, with his first touch.
After sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury last July, the Spain International has not kicked a ball in anger this season and only regained fitness during LaLiga’s suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Asensio now made up for lost time by demonstrating sublime technique in this match. He doubled Madrid’s lead in the second half of the contest.
Karim Benzema scored twice, with one goal before and one after Asensio’s goal.
Benzema opened the scoring from a wonderful team move after an hour into the match, and rounded things off with a stunning second goal (third for the team in total).
Then, on teed up by Benzema, the latter shooting straight at Jasper Cillessen when one-on-one, Toni Kroos and Eden Hazard squandered presentable early chances.
Rodrigo Moreno also almost scored for Madrid, but Thibaut Courtois brilliantly tipped his shot across the goal onto the left-hand post. Again, after 21 minutes, Rodrigo slotted home, only spotting an offside against Maxi Gomez for VAR, who deflected the pass of Carlos Soler into the path of his teammate.
Before the break, both goalkeepers were kept busy. Cillessen denied Dani Carvajal after a jinking run, and Courtois parried away the long-range effort of Geoffrey Kondogbia.
After the restart, however, Madrid was in complete control, although it took until the 61st minute for the breakthrough by Benzema to arrive.
Hazard picked up the ball on the left side of the area and played a wonderful one-two with Luka Modric before teeing up Benzema, who hit the bottom-left corner with his strike.
Modric, who grew in influence after a quiet first half, brought the best with a long-range drive out of Cillessen again but there was nothing the keeper could do about Asensio’s goal.
From the left, Ferland Mendy fired a cross in and Asensio sensationally guided a first-time volley into the goal’s right side.
Real Madrid – Valencia (3:0):
Goals: Benzema 61, 86, Asensio 86
Yellow cards: Gaya, Guillamon
Red card: Lee