La Liga 2017/18: Real Madrid 2-2 Valencia, Player Ratings
Marco Asensio's double saved the blushes for the defending champions against their bogey team.
A homecoming for the reigning La Liga champions Real Madrid turned out to be a wake-up call early in the season with Valencia drawing 2-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
With Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos suspended, Marco Asensio rose to the challenge and scored a stunning solo goal to give Madrid a lead in the 10th minute. Carlos Soler scored Valencia's equalizer soon after in what was a brilliant team goal.
Geoffrey Kondogbia gave Valencia a surprise lead in the final quarter of the game but Marco Asensio again scored, this time courtesy of a well struck free kick. Real Madrid salvaged a draw at the end of what could have been a demoralizing loss in just the second game of the season. On that note, take a look at how all the players fared in the closely fought La Liga game at the Bernabeu:
Keylor Navas: 6/10
Navas could not do anything for both the goals that he conceded. However, he made a fine save against Dani Parejo in the second half which kept Madrid in the game.
Dani Carvajal: 5/10
Though the right back was solid for the majority of the game, he underperformed on both the occasions when Valencia scored. He was caught napping for the second goal and was also involved in a mix up with Asensio in the build-up to the first goal that Madrid conceded.
Nacho Fernandez: 6.5/10
Another solid performance from Real Madrid's otherwise squad player. Nacho drilled his defence well and kept Zaza quiet for the entire match.
Playing in an unconventional centre back role, Casemiro looked comfortable and displayed his usual no nonsense approach. But his absence in midfield again proved costly for Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid.
Another typical Marcelo showing! He was solid at the back and flashy going forward. The Brazilian created a number of chances courtesy of overlapping the forwards but the white men in the box could not take advantage of it.
Toni Kroos: 7/10
With Casemiro not present to shore up the midfield, Kroos had to do the running and also help out with the dirty work. The German excelled in his duties and was inarguably Madrid's best midfielder. Along with his tenacity, some of his passes were also brilliant.
Luka Modric: 5.5/10
The Croatian surprisingly had an off day on the field as Modric could not influence the proceedings in any way against Valencia. Though he sprayed a couple of exciting through balls, Modric largely underperformed.
Isco was taken off because of a reported illness but looking by his first half display, he deserved to be substituted. He was anonymous for long lengths of the game as the playmaker did not look 100% match fit.
Gareth Bale: 5/10
When a player of Bale's caliber can only be commended on his work rate, you know he has had a below par game. The Welshman ran his heart out but created little impact in the final third. Sadly, he was booed off by the Real Madrid faithful.
Marco Asensio: 9.5/10
Two sensational goals. Several chances created. Real Madrid's saviour. No,it's not Cristiano Ronaldo that we are talking about. It is Marco Asensio - the 20 year old who is going from strength to strength with each passing week.
The forward delivered another blockbuster of a performance against Valencia and saved Madrid from a first loss of the season.
Karim Benzema: 4.5/10
He took great positions but missed a number of glorious chances to get on the score sheet. It was frustrating to see Benzema miss a host of chances as he genuinely could have turned the game on its head with a calmer presence in the box.
Matteo Kovacic: 7/10
The midfielder looked lively in the second half and Madrid did appear to be threatening with him in the centre of the park. Zidane should have started him in place of Isco with Casemiro already being deployed in defence.
Lucas Vazquez: 5/10
The winger put in a few crosses into the box and made some quick runs but did not have much time in the field to create a goal creating chance.
Borja Mayoral: 6/10
The youngster played just six minutes plus stoppage time and hence could not give much to his side. Mayoral still attempted one shot which was off target.