Marco Asensio strikes twice to fuel Real Madrid's comeback against Betis
Real Betis 3 - 5 Real Madrid

Marco Asensio strikes twice to fuel Real Madrid's comeback against Betis

18/02/2018

Real Madrid staged a storming second-half comeback to beat Real Betis 5-3 in an eight-goal La Liga thriller.

Marco Asensio (two), Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema were on target as the Spanish champions recovered from a 2-1 interval deficit to avenge Betis' Bernabeu victory in September.

Aissa Mandi and a Nacho own goal saw Betis' first-half superiority rewarded, while Sergio Leon gave the hosts late hope until Benzema struck in stoppage time.

Among the madness, Madrid became the first team in La Liga history to reach 6,000 goals in the competition.

Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane changed almost half the side which had beaten Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League in midweek.

Asensio, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vasquez, Mateo Kovacic and Gareth Bale all came in and Real were ahead after 11 minutes when Jordi Amat failed to clear Marcelo's cross.

Lucas found Ronaldo and Antonio Adan could only his shot into the path of Asensio, who finished with a firm header.

But the goal only served to push Betis forward as Madrid were forced to defend countless home attacks.

Mandi diverted Joaquin's corner wide and Loren came close to beating Keylor Navas from 25 yards.

The Costa Rica international then pulled a save out of the top drawer to stop Joaquin levelling and marking the 700th game of his senior career with a fantastic free-kick strike.

Madrid's problems grew as Marcelo hobbled off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, and the equaliser that Betis deserved arrived after 33 minutes.

Joaquin's delivery again caused problems and Mandi attacked the cross to beat Navas with a close-range header.

Ronaldo was well offside when he slid the ball into the Betis net and moments later the hosts were ahead.

Junior Firpo, playing only his second senior game, galloped onto Joaquin's pass and went for goal.

Navas could parry his effort and the ball struck Nacho for the defender to register an unfortunate own goal.

Real had been decidedly second best in the first half but they were level five minutes after the restart.

Lucas swung his corner towards the penalty spot where it was met by the head of Ramos, who bulleted home his second league goal of the season.

Madrid were now a different proposition and Bale, largely anonymous until that point, forced two excellent stops from Adan.

The referee, however, did not recognise Adan's second save and Bale was booked for complaining that Madrid should have been awarded a corner -- one of eight yellow cards in the game.

But the visitors were ahead after 59 minutes when Carvajal rampaged down the right flank and crossed for Asensio to sidefoot his second, and Madrid's milestone goal.

Ronaldo was on the scoresheet six minutes later as he took Casemiro's pass and flashed a shot past Adan as the Betis defence stood off him.

Five minutes remained when Leon turned home Junior's cross, but Betis were finished for good when substitute Benzema notched just his third league goal of the season.

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19/01/2019
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