MELBOURNE, Australia Sporting Alert – Real Madrid cruised to a 4-1 victory over Manchester City in their International Champions Cup pre-season game at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia on Friday.
Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Denis Cheryshev were all on the scoresheet for the Spanish giants, while Yaya Toure netted for the English Premier League club in front of over 99,000 supporters.
Real Madrid got the ball rolling in the 22nd minute when Daniel Carvajal made a driving run through the midfield before passing to Gareth Bale on the right side.
The Wales international then whipped in a cross for Benzema to volley home past goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Three minutes later Cristiano Ronaldo made it 2-0 with a clever finish, despite Hart getting a touch on his final delivery.
The Portugal international expertly took down a long-range pass from Toni Kroos inside the box before chipping over the advancing Hart, as Aleksandar Kolarov, tracking back from his left-back position, tried desperately to stop him from gaining possession.
Manchester City were punished again before the halftime break when the Citizens failed to pick up a late run from defender Pepe, who headed home from a corner kick in the 44th minute to make it 3-1.
The Premier League side did grab a lifeline from the penalty just before the interval though, as Sergio Ramos was whistled for a hand ball inside the box, while under pressure from Raheem Sterling.
Yaya Toure stepped up to fire to the left of goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who went the other way.
Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez, who said during his press conference on Thursday that despite playing against one of Europe’s top clubs, he would treat the game as part of his pre-season preparations – made four changes to start the second half, include taking off Pepe and Benzema.
Both sides counter each other in attack and defense in the second half, but it was The Whites who added to the scoreline.
Madrid increased its lead to 4-1 in the 73rd minute when a skillful Isco drove into the penalty box with a nice move before playing a teasing ball across the face of the goal – away from the goalkeeper – for Denis Cheryshev to tap home.
In the end, the La Liga side, which was bouncing back from the penalty shootout defeat to AS Roma in their last International Champions Cup game, was too powerful for Manuel Pellegrini side, which started the game with Sterling as the main striker.
“We didn’t play to the pitch and the pitch was big. We were a little disjointed but there’s lots to learn from it,” England No. 1 Hart said after the game.
“Lots of us haven’t had many minutes and we are still missing the South American guys. The team is going to get stronger, we’ll be fitter and ready for the new season.”
Recent addition Fabian Delph left the pitch in the 21st minute for Manchester City with what looks like a hamstring problem.
Jesus Navas came on to replace him.