Marco Asensio's magnificent brace earned Real Madrid a point as they drew 2-2 with Valencia in a breathless encounter on Sunday.
Asensio opened the scoring with a curling finish and bent in a free kick to salvage a draw for Madrid late on after goals from Carlos Soler and Geoffrey Kondogbia – on his Valencia debut – appeared to be enough for a famous, Che victory.
Zinedine Zidane named Casemiro in the heart of Los Blancos' defence, with Sergio Ramos banned and Raphael Varane injured. The visitors, meanwhile, started new boys Jeison Murillo and Kondogbia for the first time.
Madrid paraded the League trophy they won last season before kick-off, and it was quickly followed by Asensio driving through the middle of Valencia's defence, before curling a beautiful effort into the bottom-left corner of Neto’s goal.
Just eight minutes later, however, Jose Luis Gaya got in behind Dani Carvajal down the far left, and his cutback was turned in by Carlos Soler.
Keylor Navas appeared to be fouled by Zaza when he took a goal kick, but the referee waved play on and allowed Madrid to break away through Benzema, whose finish was tipped around the post.
The striker remained in the thick of it as he glanced a header onto the post, before he volleyed Gareth Bale’s cross over from point-blank range and sent another header wide, despite being unmarked in the penalty area.
Coming back out for the second half, Madrid continued to waste chances at will. Marcelo whipped a cross into the box for Benzema, but his flicked finish in the penalty area went wide.
It was then Luka Modric’s turn to chest the ball in Valencia's penalty area but blaze over his volley, before Asensio bent a shot inches wide of the far post.
Kondogbia was suddenly unmarked in Madrid’s penalty area from a left-wing delivery, but the midfielder headed the ball into the ground and over.
Gareth Bale repeated Kondogbia’s bouncing header in the Valencia box, leading to his substitution, before Modric fired one and hard low on target, which Neto tipped around the post.
Los Che kept plugging away as Simone Zaza was completely unmarked when a cross came in from the right, but he couldn’t keep his header down.
Gaya was fouled around 30 yards out from Madrid’s goal, and Parejo flighted a thunderous shot on target, which Keylor managed to push over.
Valencia’s bravery was ultimately rewarded as the ball dropped to Kondogbia in the Madrid box, and the former Inter man coolly side-footed past Keylor to put Valencia 2-1 with only 10 minutes left.
Madrid were left with no choice but to throw the kitchen sink at Valencia, and Carvajal was played in at Neto’s near post, but his finish was stopped by the goalkeeper.
Nonetheless, Asensio bent an unstoppable free kick over the wall and into the back of the net, with the goalkeeper unmoved.
Benzema had the perfect opportunity to make amends for his earlier misses, when he had his back to goal from a cross, but his header was pushed onto the post by the Neto.
Zaza also appeared to be bodychecked by Casemiro for a penalty right at the death, but the referee disagreed.
Real Madrid 2-2 Valencia
Asensio 10, 83 (RM) Soler 18, Kondogbia 77 (V)
Real Madrid: Keylor; Carvajal, Nacho, Casemiro, Marcelo; Asensio, Modric, Kroos (Mayoral 84), Isco (Kovacic 46); Bale (Vazquez 74), Benzema
Valencia: Neto; Montoya (Nacho Vidal 75), Vezo, Murillo, Lato (Nacho Gil 83); Soler, Parejo, Kondogbia, Gaya; Rodrigo (Mina 88), Zaza
Referee: Fernandez Borbalan