Asensio stars as Real down Betis in eight-goal thriller

Winger scores brace in Los Blancos 5-3 win on Sunday

Reuters February 19, 2018

SEVILLE: Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos helped Real Madrid mount a stirring second-half comeback to beat Real Betis 5-3 away from home in a thrilling La Liga game on Sunday, demonstrating their awesome power in attack as well as their vulnerabilities.

Marco Asensio headed the Liga champions in front in the 11th minute but Aissa Mandi nodded in an equaliser in the 33rd.

Nacho Fernandez then diverted a fumbled save by Keylor Navas into his own net to give ninth-placed Betis the lead in the 37th.

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A party atmosphere had gripped the Benito Villamarin stadium but locally-born Real captain Ramos punctured the mood by levelling with a towering header from a corner five minutes into the second half.

Gareth Bale spurned two good chances to score and it was left to hot-shot winger Asensio to put Madrid back in front with a strike across goal to complete a blistering counterattack.

Ronaldo looked to have sealed the win with a net-bursting strike from a tight angle shortly after the hour mark.

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Substitute Sergio Leon pulled a goal back for Betis in the 85th minute to set up a tense finish.

However, substitute Karim Benzema pounced in stoppage time for Madrid's 13th goal in three games after their 3-1 win over Paris St Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday and their 5-2 hammering of Real Sociedad last weekend.

Real are fourth in the league standings on 45 points, 17 behind runaway leaders Barcelona although they can climb above Valencia and in to third place if they win at Leganes on Wednesday.