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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Asensio magic rescues Real, Liverpool thrash Arsenal

PHOTOS: Asensio magic rescues Real, Liverpool thrash Arsenal

August 28, 2017 12:30 IST

A summary of the results of the major European football league matches on the weekend.

Real's winning run halted by Valencia

Marco Asensio

IMAGE: Marco Asensio celebrates after scoring the first goal for Real Madrid. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Spanish champions Real Madrid had to rely on two stunning strikes from a relentless Marco Asensio as they drew 2-2 at home to Valencia on Sunday while Sevilla grabbed a scarcely deserved first win of the campaign by beating Getafe 1-0.

Asensio, 21, delighted the Santiago Bernabeu with a long- range opening strike but Valencia scored two impressive team goals either side of the break through homegrown youngster Carlos Soler and debutant Geoffrey Kondogbia.

Marcelino's side led with 13 minutes to go, forcing Asensio to rescue Real with a superb free kick in the 83rd minute.

Madrid missed the presence of their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo and captain Sergio Ramos through suspension but almost stole the three points in stoppage-time when Karim Benzema's shot was turned on to the post by Valencia goalkeeper Neto.

"We've paid for the intense month we've had," said Real defender Dani Carvajal after his side's fifth competitive game in 20 days.

"We had all types of chances and we could have got more from the game but Valencia are very strong opponents and they've taken a point off us."

Valencia coach Marcelino added: "We have to congratulate ourselves for how we played and the result. We leave here feeling very good about ourselves."

Real Madrid have four points from two games heading into the international break while Barcelona, Real Sociedad and Leganes won both their opening matches.

Asensio, who is proving to be a specialist at sensational goals, struck for the third time this season to give Madrid the lead in the 10th minute.

IMAGE: Karim Benzema, left, clashes with Valencia's Jeison Murillo as he tries to head the ball. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The Mallorcan picked the ball up 30 metres out and headed straight towards the goal, pinging it into the bottom corner with an exquisite finish from outside the area.

Valencia responded with a perfectly executed team move between three academy graduates. Jose Gaya began the play with a darting run down the left and released 19-year-old Toni Lato who delivered the cross which Soler crashed past Keylor Navas.

Madrid took a while to digest the equaliser but nearly went ahead again before the break, as Karim Benzema was denied by a fine low save by Neto.

Madrid spurned two further chances before the interval but in the second half they found it much harder to get through this organised Valencia side, who look vastly improved from last season.

Luka Modric fired a shot at Neto from range which the Brazilian tipped away but Valencia did most of the attacking, with Kondogbia and Simone Zaza missing the target and Navas tipping away a rocket from visiting captain Dani Parejo.

Their second goal was another expertly crafted move, with Gaya bursting into the box and working the ball to Rodrigo Moreno who held it up for Kondogbia to crash the ball beyond Navas.

Asensio, however, had other ideas.

Sevilla, who finished fourth last season, produced another unconvincing display at Getafe and are still finding their feet under Berizzo, but earned the win thanks to a moment of inspiration from Ganso.

The Brazilian was being tightly marked when Gabriel Mercado's cross came his way in the area and he nonchalantly stuck out his right foot to flick the ball into the far corner in the 83rd minute.

Athletic Bilbao earned a first win under coach Jose Angel Ziganda by beating fellow Basque side Eibar 1-0 away and Leganes won 1-0 at Espanyol.

Liverpool shine on bad day for North London

IMAGE: Sadio Mane, right, celebrates with his Liverpool team mates after scoring a goal. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Liverpool delivered a clear statement of their attacking potency by crushing Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield on Sunday as Tottenham Hotspur's Wembley worries continued in a 1-1 draw with Burnley.

Champions Chelsea picked up a second successive victory with a 2-0 win over Everton and unbeaten West Bromwich Albion drew 1-1 at home with Stoke City.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger described his team's hammering at the hands of Juergen Klopp's Liverpool as "absolutely disastrous" and the Gunners' fans who chanted for his removal would doubtless agree.

Confident from the outset, Liverpool went ahead in the 17th minute when full back Joe Gomez drifted in a cross from the right and unmarked Brazilian Roberto Firmino converted with a straightforward header.

Five minutes before the break, Liverpool broke with a flowing, passing move which ended with Sadio Mane cutting in from the left and driving a low shot into the far corner.

The contest was over in the 57th minute when the ever-dangerous Mohamed Salah stole the ball from a hesitant Hector Bellerin and burst from deep in his own half before slipping the ball home.

Egyptian winger Salah created the fourth with a cross from the left which was headed home by substitute Daniel Sturridge.

"From the first to the last minute, not physically, not technically not mentally we were not at the level and we were punished," Wenger said.

IMAGE: A dejected Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal after losing the match against Liverpool. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

At Tottenham's temporary home of Wembley, Dele Alli's close-range effort shortly after halftime looked to have sealed victory for Spurs but they were made to pay for not converting enough of their chances.

Burnley subsittute Chris Wood, signed last week from Leeds, struck in stoppage time on his debut, getting on the end of a fine sweeping pass from Robbie Brady to claim a debut goal.

The result extended Tottenham's record to two wins in their last 12 games at the national stadium.

"That is football. It was a tough game. Difficult for us to play. We had the chance to score a second or third but we missed. Sometimes you pay," said Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

The draw gave Burnley four points from early season trips to the capital following their shock opening day win at Chelsea.

That result appears to have been shrugged off by the champions and goals from Spaniards Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata earned Antonio Conte's side victory over a disappointing Everton at Stamford Bridge.

Morata's clever header set up Fabregas to give Chelsea the lead in the 27th minute, the former Arsenal player sliding the ball past keeper Jordan Pickford with a deft finish.

Chelsea doubled their advantage five minutes before the break when Morata climbed to head home Cesar Azpilicueta's inviting cross for his second goal for his new club since signing from Real Madrid.

A game of few chances looked to be heading West Brom's way after new signing Jay Rodriguez stooped to head them into the lead after 61 minutes - his first Premier League goal for the club.

Stoke were gifted a point in 77th minute, however, when Ahmed Hegazi and keeper Ben Foster went for the same ball, leaving Peter Crouch the simple task of heading it into an open goal.

Manchester United lead the standings with nine points from three games, two clear of Liverpool, Huddersfield Town, Manchester City and West Brom.

Belotti off the mark with scissors kick

Andrea Belotti

IMAGE: Andrea Belotti celebrates scoring a goal. Photograph: Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Torino forward Andrea Belotti got off the mark in style by scoring his first Serie A goal of the season with an outrageous scissors kick as they beat Sassuolo 3-0 on Sunday while Milan and Napoli kept up their winning starts.

A majestic Suso free kick gave AC Milan a 2-1 win over stubborn Cagliari while Napoli, like Milan, have six points from two games after scoring three second-half goals to beat Atalanta 3-1.

Three other teams have maximum points - Juventus and Inter Milan, who won on Saturday, and Sampdoria who beat Fiorentina 2-1 away.

Torino's eventful match also saw two penalties over-turned - one for each side - after consultations with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Belotti, who scored 26 league goals last season and is one of the hottest properties in Italian football, opened the scoring in the 45th minute with a truly outstanding effort.

Nicolas N’Koulou flicked the ball over a defender, slipped it to Lorenzo De Silvestri who sent over a long cross to the far post where Belotti, with his back to goal, launched himself into the air and connected with a perfectly-executed overhead volley.

The 23-year-old Italy forward also set up the third when he slalomed through the Sassuolo defence for Joel Obi to score in the 88th minute. Adem Ljajic had added the second minutes earlier.

Torino coach Sinisa Mihajlovic had wanted to substitute Obi in the 81st minute - and was livid with his assistants when they mistakenly took off Tomas Rincon instead.

Torino were awarded a penalty just before the hour for handball by Paolo Cannavaro but the referee changed his mind after consulting the VAR and deciding that it was accidental.

Sassuolo were also awarded a penalty which was then revoked after the VAR spotted an offside late in the game.

Milan, who have won their first five games of the season in the Europa League and Serie A, took an early lead at San Siro when Patrick Cutrone tapped in Suso's wicked cross at the far post.

But Cagliari would not lie down and Joao Pedro equalised in the 56th minute after Milan lost possession while trying to play the ball out of defence.

Suso, one of only three survivors from last season in the Milan starting line-up, restored their lead by curling in a free kick with 20 minutes left.

Napoli fell behind to a 15th minute header by Bryan Cristante at home to Atalanta and, despite playing with their usual panache, struggled to break down the visitors.

Piotr Zielinski finally levelled with an unstoppable shot in the 56th minute and they turned the game around five minutes later when Allan's chipped pass was headed on by Lorenzo Insigne for Dries Mertens to volley in at the far post.

Marko Rog finished off a well-worked move for the third in the 87th minute.

Gianluca Caprari and Fabio Quagliarella, from a penalty, scored twice in a three-minute spell in the first half for Sampdoria, who survived several scares after Milan Badelj pulled one back early in the second half for Fiorentina.

Promoted Spal won their first game when a stoppage-time goal by Luca Rizzo sunk Udinese 3-2 after the visitors had clawed back a two-goal deficit, with Cyril Thereau equalising from a penalty in the 87th minute.

Monaco thrash Marseille

IMAGE: Kamil Glik scores the first goal for Monaco. Photograph: Eric Gaillard/Reuters

French champions Monaco crushed Olympique de Marseille 6-1 on Sunday to stay just behind league leaders Paris St Germain, although the game was overshadowed by the imminent transfer to PSG of Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe.

Monaco scored four goals in the first half, with Colombian international Radamel Falcao netting twice in the rout of their Mediterranean rivals, who defended poorly throughout the game.

However, much of the build-up was dominated by French media reports that PSG had signed Monaco's 18-year-old striker Mbappe in a 180 million euros ($215 million) deal.

There was no official confirmation from PSG or Monaco and Mbappe looked relaxed as he sat on the bench as an unused substitute.

Mbappe shone for Monaco as they claimed the French title and reached the Champions League semi-finals last season.

He could link up at PSG with Brazilian forward Neymar, who PSG signed this month from Barcelona for a world record fee of 222 million euros.

In other games on Sunday, former champions Lille continued to struggle as they drew 1-1 with Angers while Guingamp beat Strasbourg 2-0.

PSG, who beat Saint Etienne 3-0 on Friday, lead Monaco on goal difference, with both teams having won their four opening games.

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