Real Madrid's Lucas Vazquez recreates Zidane UCL volley against Luca Zidane

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Everyone loves a good volley. Especially Real Madrid in Europe.

Madrid players have scored some famous volleys in the Champions League, so it was quite a treat for winger Lucas Vazquez to try to recreate some of them.

First up was THE volley, Zinedine Zidane’s legendary strike in the 2002 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen.

And who better to be in goal for that recreation than Zidane’s own son? 19-year-old Luca plays for Madrid’s youth team, but he was on hand to watch - and try to stop - Vazquez’s attempts to recreate his father’s famous goal.
Also on the list was Gareth Bale’s superb recent volley against Borussia Dortmund, a goal that set Madrid up for a win in Germany that has pretty much guaranteed a place in this season’s knockout stages.


Vazquez also got to have the satisfaction of recalling one of his own goals, a volley against Legia Warsaw last season. On the off chance anyone was pulling the old “if he tries that in training he’ll never pull it off” line, the Real Madrid youngster put that to bed. There’s no doubting Vazquez’s technique after this.


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Asensio's long-range stunner shouldn't be a surprise and other Deadly Stats as Real Madrid cruise past Las Palmas

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Real Madrid quietened crisis talk after back-to-back defeats as Marco Asensio added to his collection of wonder strikes in a 3-0 victory over Las Palmas at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.

Victory cuts third-placed Real’s deficit on Barcelona at the top of La Liga back to eight points.

However, it was another off night for Madrid’s strikers as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema were held scoreless as Casemiro, Isco and 21-year-old Asensio provided the killer touch.

Here are Seven Deadly Stats from Sunday’s game…

REAL MADRID’S MILESTONE MAN

Sometimes it can be hard to remember that Marcelo hasn’t been around forever, so long has his career seemed, even considering that most people will recall memories of Marcelo’s predecessor at left-back, Roberto Carlos.

Marcelo has continued the tradition his compatriot established before him as a marauding, thrilling presence on the left side of Madrid’s defence, and on Sunday he deservedly joined Carlos in a select club.

BENZEMA KEEPING THE DEBATE GOING

Karim Benzema has been making headlines recently, although not for reasons he’d appreciate. Ever since Gary Lineker called the Frenchman overrated during Real Madrid’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham, debate has raged around the striker’s talents.

The team has rallied behind their man, with Zidane and club president Florentino Perez both praising the striker for his all-around brilliance and the way he fulfills his role in the side effectively. And there’s little doubt that Benzema can be a deadly striker and is capable of magic on the ball.

For all that Lineker is an excellent pundit, he may have gotten it wrong on this occasion. But at the moment Benzema isn’t making the greatest of cases for himself.

CASEMIRO PICKS UP SURPRISE FIRST

Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos – Madrid are blessed with some excellent headers of the ball, which make the side a danger from any set-piece near the box.

So it’s surprising that three months into the season, Los Blancos had yet to score with a header.

Casemiro changed that with the side’s opener on the night.

ASENSIO, LA LIGA’S LONG-RANGE SPECIALIST

Asensio announced himself with two excellent long-range strikes against Barcelona in this season’s Supercopa. Given how memorable those goals were, it won’t come as a surprise to anyone to find out that the young Spaniard is capable of repeating the feat.

But his goal on Sunday night was still something special. A half-volley, from outside the box, arrowing and swerving into the top corner – it was simultaneously beautiful and brutal.

It also cements his reputation as one of La Liga’s premier long-range specialists. All four of his league strikes have come from outside the box.

Oh, and he also happens to be Real Madrid’s top scorer in the league.

VALLEJO’S STUNNING DEBUT

At just 20, Jesus Vallejo was making his first La Liga start for Real Madrid, stepping in for the injured Raphael Varane.

By the end of the game, it would have been shocking to think this was his full debut. Vallejo put in an imperious performance alongside Sergio Ramos, mopping up play at the back and denying Las Palmas at every opportunity. And given Ramos’ love for going forward and joining Madrid’s attacks, Vallejo was often the lone defender at the back, but that didn’t seem to faze him. At one point he stopped a 3-v-1 break with some fine defending.

He ended with a 100% success rate in his tackling, and three interceptions – second only to Ramos on the night among Madrid players.

Jesus Vallejo (R) was in fine form on his full La Liga debut for Madrid.

Jesus Vallejo (R) was in fine form on his full La Liga debut for Madrid.

THE RONALDO STAT THAT MATTERS (FOR NOW)

So, yes, yet again Ronaldo failed to find the back of a net in a La Liga match. He’s still on one league goal for the season.

Until that happens, however, let’s remember that while Ronaldo’s main currency is goals, he’s no slouch when it comes to providing them for his teammates.

Perhaps the selfish tag can be shrugged off.

THE RONALDO STAT THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE

Standard logic dictates that you need to shoot to score. It also follows that if you’re a world-class striker, the more you shoot, the more you’ll score.

Lionel Messi has been proving this true so far this season, leading La Liga in both shots and goals.

So what’s the issue with Ronaldo?

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Three key questions as under-fire Zinedine Zidane and struggling Real Madrid face Las Palmas

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Under pressure: Zidane.

Following back-to-back defeats away from home against Girona and Tottenham in the Champions League, Real Madrid have entered, for the second time this season, a mini-crisis.

Whichever way you look at it, the reigning La Liga and European champions have struggled to hit the heights of last season, with many underlying issues and indeed evident ones on the pitch increasing the pressure on Zinedine Zidane.

Here, we take a look at three key questions as Real prepare to host minnows Las Palmas at home on Sunday night in La Liga.

What have you made of Real in the past two matches?

Get in touch with your thoughts – join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.

CAN ZINEDINE ZIDANE ANSWER HIS CRITICS?

Two defeats in two have piled the pressure on the Frenchman, who has bared the full force of criticism in wake of his team’s indifferent and uncharacteristic first few months of the season. While Zidane, a back-to-back Champions League-winning coach (as if we needed reminding), had every right to fire shots back at the Madrid-based media this week – claiming a bit sarcastically he had not become the world’s worst coach overnight – the only way he can put things right is on the Bernabeu pitch.

Given Las Palmas are loitering lowly in the relegation zone, this would normally be a foregone conclusion but let’s not forget the Whites have been held on home turf by Levante and Valencia and been beaten by Real Betis this term.

Real have struggled to break down lesser sides and keep things tight at the other end of the pitch, but the fact they’ll be hurting after their mauling at Wembley will work in Zidane’s favour.

A comprehensive win against a team that has shipped more goals than any other in La Liga will lift the spirits and raise the confidence levels in the pursuit of table-toppers Barcelona ahead of the international break.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: (EDITOR NOTES: This image has been converted to black and white) Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid looks on during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid at Wembley Stadium on November 1, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Zidane’s tactics and substitutions have been questioned.

CAN REAL SOLVE OBVIOUS FLAWS AND UP THE ANTE?

A chronic shortage of energy, hustle and bustle to do the game’s dirty work and a questionable lack of motivation have all been running themes, coursing through the Whites.

There’s been an evident drop in motivation this season which in part is completely understandable given what Real have achieved in the past two years – but still, while physically the sheer weight of games and travel has been draining, wearing the Madrid shirt has demands which remain constant. Any let up is just not accepted by Madridistas and is a spark they need to get back quickly.

Tactically, the famed midfield axis of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, along with Isco, have all gone off the boil somewhat and seemingly been overrun by more competitive and physical midfields. Passing has been a miss as well as creativity with the supply line to Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Real’s legendary focal point isolated.

The indifferent form of Marcelo and other injuries at full-back to the likes of Dani Carvajal have disrupted the defence, with players getting easily pulled out of position. Support staff in Nacho and Achraf Hakimi haven’t been able to fill the void either.

In addition, the backline hasn’t been marshalled as stringently by captain Sergio Ramos as we are normally accustomed to. The defending for Dele Alli’s second goal being proof of that.

With the quality Real have, these are seemingly quick fixes but the truth in the matter is that they have been bubbling above the surface all season. Zidane’s tactical acumen has been called into question and he needs to find a way of quickly restoring the Real Madrid swagger we’re used to.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Mousa Dembele of Tottenham Hotspur and Marcelo of Real Madrid speak during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid at Wembley Stadium on November 1, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Obvious frustration: Marcelo.

DEALING WITH THE BERNABEU BOO-BOYS…

Real Madrid fans have never been shy of waving handkerchiefs and whistling their team if things aren’t going well, and while the club’s unparallelled recent success has been appreciated by all, the supporters just demand no let-up in winning.

It’s always been down to the players to lift the crowd and get them off of their seats. This is not news for Zidane, a man who despite his legendary status as a player at the club, was part of a Galactico team that struggled for form and trophies in the middle of the previous decade.

A fast start is needed to galvanise the home support and a smattering of goals will get everything back on track.

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 25: Spectators watch the La liga match between Real Madrid CF and Cordoba CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on August 25, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

The Santiago Bernabeu crowd are not shy to show their unrest.

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