Asensio stars as Real Madrid stroll past Barcelona in Spanish Super Cup win

Real Madrid strolled to the 2017 Super Cup with a 2-0 victory over Barcelona at the Bernabeu on 16 August 2017, sealing a thumping 5-1 aggregate win over their rivals to start the Spanish season in the best possible way. Suspended Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo was barely missed as a Marco Asensio screamer made it 1-0 on just four minutes, Karim Benzema added a second before half-time and although Barca improved after the break they never looked close to a comeback. The victory was even more impressive given coach Zinedine Zidane had shuffled his squad and left usual starters Gareth Bale, Isco and Casemiro on the bench.

As Madrid took control in the first half, all over the pitch Barca players were struggling. The three-centre-back system used by new coach Ernesto Valverde in theory suited many in their side, but most looked uncomfortable and unsure of their roles. Even experienced players like Busquets, Mascherano and Jordi Alba were having shockers. Barca were even well beaten in the possession stats at half-time, by 56 to 44 percent, something unheard of in the past decade, even against Madrid. Valverde’s men had just one shot at goal in the first 45 minutes, Suarez volleying well over the top to jeers from the Madrid fans.

Since Madrid had last played at home, any game, they had won May’s Champions League in Cardiff, last 15 August 2017 European Super Cup in Skopje, and of course gone to the Camp Nou and won 3-1 last weekend. On 16 August 2017 should have been billed as a celebration of such success, but instead the absence of Ronaldo overshadowed almost all of the build-up. Down on the sideline Zidane watched impassively, with just the hint of a smile, as around him fans celebrated joyously. This was his second Super Cup in little more than a week, a seventh trophy won in only 20 months in charge. He is doing an incredible job, and even for a club as storied as Madrid these are heady days to be a Bernabeu fan.

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