Real Madrid extended their 100% record in the 2022/23 campaign as they defeated RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night.
The Merengues were made to work hard by the German giants, who made a lively start to the game and put their hosts under the cosh. Indeed, Real Madrid needed Thibaut Courtois to bail them out on a few occasions in the first half as the likes of Christopher Nkunku and Timo Werner threatened.
It took some time, but Carlo Ancelotti’s side finally broke the deadlock in the 80th minute through Federico Valverde. Substitute Marco Asensio put the game to bed in stoppage time by making it 2-0.
The result meant that Real Madrid have now won each of their first eight matches across all competitions in 2022/23. It is the third-best start to a season in the club’s history after 1961/62 (11) and 1968/69 (11).
Following the victory on Wednesday, Los Blancos now have a 71.1% win percentage in 2022 across all competitions. It is their highest record for a calendar year since 2016.
Courtois once again came to Real Madrid’s rescue against RB Leipzig, making three saves on the night. The Belgian international has now stopped 24 of the last 25 shots he has faced in the Champions League, keeping three clean sheets in a row.
Valverde was once again on target for the Merengues. The Uruguayan has now been involved in six goals in his last nine games for Real Madrid in all competitions (3 goals and 3 assists), as many as in his previous 87 games for Los Blancos (4 and 2).
Asensio, who was in the headlines over the weekend for his touchline antics, got a chance on Wednesday. And he made the most of it by netting the second goal in stoppage time. With that strike, the 26-year-old has now scored 50 goals for Real Madrid in 238 matches.
Real Madrid forward set for talks with Arsenal this week – report
With less than six months left on his contract, Marco Asensio looks to be on his way out of Real Madrid very soon. The Spaniard has not yet started talks to extend his contract with the Spanish giants, which has garnered the eyes from several top clubs across Europe.
One of the clubs interested in his signature happens to be Premier League leaders Arsenal. Mikel Arteta is said to be a fan of the player, and will try to be bring him to North London on a free transfer this summer.
According to Mirror, Asensio’s agents will fly to London this week to get an a better understanding Arsenal’s interest in the player. Talks are scheduled with Arsenal, among possibly other clubs.
Asensio’s priority remains to extend with Arsenal, but not at ‘any cost’. The winger is looking for raise with his new contract to go along with a four-year deal. The report states that he currently earns around €130,000 per week at Madrid.
The 27-year-old has been waiting for an official offer from Los Blancos for a while, but the club will wait for March or April before taking a decision on his extension.
Asensio took a while to grow important for Carlo Ancelotti this season, but has been featuring regularly on the right-wing lately. He even scored in 2-0 win against Valencia in midweek, taking his tally to two for the season, excluding three assists as well.
Arsenal are definitely looking to add more firepower to their squad for next season, having already brought in Leandro Trossard in the winter. Asensio could serve as the perfect backup to Bukayo Saka, who has been in incredible form all season.