Match Report

Real Madrid stop the bleeding

Real Madrid’s two-match losing streak came to a halt on Sunday evening thanks to goals from Casemiro, Marco Asensio and Isco in a 3-0 win over Las Palmas at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.

Casemiro headed the hosts into a 1-0 lead before the break before an Asensio wondergoal and an Isco strike rounded out the scoreline. More importantly, it was a return to the win column for Los Blancos, who had been mired in a mini-slump after losses at Girona and Tottenham.

On the day Cristiano Ronaldo was arguably Real’s best performer but was once again left frustrated by another goalless outing. Still, the Portuguese created a slew of chances and put the ball on a silver platter for Isco to score Real’s third.

Manager Zinedine Zidane rested midfielder Luka Modric, while slotting Asensio in attack along with Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. Also of note in the French boss’ starting XI was the inclusion of Vallejo at centre-back.

The woes that Benzema experienced in Real’s previous two encounters carried into the beginning of Sunday’s affair, as the Frenchman was in on Las Palmas goalkeeper Lizoain but shot right at the feet of the visiting stopper.

Las Palmas did not turn up at the Bernabeu just to defend; the islanders were keen to possess and put pressure on the Real defence, and some slick movement from Vitolo almost ended with a goal.

The Pio Pio were getting their fair share of looks on the counter, but their decision-making in the Real half left a lot to be desired. Their wastefulness was to Real’s advantage, and the visitors were fortunate that a curling left-footer from Ronaldo didn’t beat Lizoain. Later in the half the Portuguese threatened the Las Palmas goal, this time via the air when Lizoain had to go low to stop a header.

It was evident though that Real were winning the aerial game, and it bore fruit shortly before half-time with the game’s first goal through Casemiro. Jonathan Calleri tried to flick away an Asensio corner kick, but the Brazilian reacted accordingly and headed back across Lizoain and into goal for a 1-0 Real lead.

Despite the goal, Real’s play was still lacking energy; that is, until Asensio struck an absolute missile that went screaming into the top left corner of the Las Palmas net to double the Real margin to 2-0. Lizoain fisted out a ball and it fell perfectly for Asensio, who could not have hit it any sweeter.

Outside of a Casemiro takedown of Vitolo in the area that could have easily been whistled for a penalty, Las Palmas were not as effective in the second-half. Calleri had far fewer touches in the second 45 minutes, while Vitolo was never allowed to feel comfortable over the ball due to the constant harassing of the Real defence.

By the final quarter-hour the match Real had the points sewn up, as Isco fired in to increase it to 3-0 after an inch-perfect cross from the right from Ronaldo, who still looked noticeably dour even after providing a sterling assist.

Ronaldo was desperate to get a goal and he could only shake his head with a disbelieving smile when he fired just over the crossbar when it looked for all the world that he would find the back of the net. Ramos also suffered some bad luck as he had a deflected effort hit the crossbar and bounce out.

Nevertheless, it is a return to winning ways for Real, who will resume action on November 18 with the Madrid derby versus Atletico.

Match Sheet:

3.- Real Madrid: Casilla; Nacho, Ramos, Vallejo, Marcelo; Casemiro (Llorente, min. 68), Kroos (Dani Ceballos, min. 78), Isco; Asensio, Cristiano, Benzema (Lucas Vazquez, min. 75).

0.- Las Palmas: Lizoain; Macedo, Bigas, Lemos, Ximo, Dani Castellano; Vicente Gomez (Remy, min. 64), Javi Castellano, Aquilani (Hernan, min. 83); Vitolo, Calleri.

Goals: 1-0, min. 41: Casemiro; 2-0, min. 56: Asensio; 3-0, min. 74: Isco.

Referee: Sanchez Martinez (Murcian).

Yellow cards: Isco (Min. 45) for Real Madrid, Kroos (Min. 63) for Real Madrid, Ximo (Min. 79) for Las Palmas.

Red cards: None.

Stadium: Santiago Bernabeu.

Attendance: 81.044.

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