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Tianjin Teda 0-6 Real Madrid: Visitors comfortably stroll past Chinese side

Real Madrid wrapped up their pre-season tour of China by comfortably sweeping past Super League side Tianjin Teda 6-0 at the Water Drop Olympic Stadium.

Early goals from Kaka and Angel Di Maria set the scene in China. After a disappointing end to the first half, Los Blancos overwhelmed their opponents in the second, with Gonzalo Higuain making it 3-0 in the 53rd minute. Further strikes by substitutes Cristiano Ronaldo and a brace from Karim Benzema completed the rout.

Jose Mourinho made nine changes from the side that overwhelmed Guangzhou Evergrande 7-1 in their previous friendly match with Tomas Mejias handed a start in goal.

Los Blancos were on the front foot almost immediately, and they bore the fruit of their early domination by breaking the deadlock within eight minutes. Cao Yang lunged in on Angel Di Maria with the referee unhesitant in awarding a penalty. Kaka tapped in the penalty in simple fashion to make it 1-0.

Real Madrid asserted their authority, and doubled the lead after 13 minutes when Di Maria etched his name on the scoresheet after some poor defending from the home side.

A spate of substitutions by both sides had punctuated the flow of the game midway through the first half, as the attacking tempo slightly wavered. Yu Dabao had unsuccessfully tried to beat substitute Jesus in the Real Madrid goal, with Kaka unable to test Song Zhenyu moments later.

Sergio Ramos was then replaced by Nacho after receiving a knock, which may hinder preparations for  Los Blancos’ Super Cup clash against Barcelona next week. Mourinho’s side failed to trouble the inferior Tianjin side, with a flurry of efforts from Fabio Coentrao, Di Maria and Higuain towards the end of the first half rounding off an otherwise poor showing.

Tianjin, coached by experienced Dutch manager Arie Haan improved after the interval when Liao Bochao had an effort nervously cleared.

Much of the play from the visitors became structured around midfield after the introduction of Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira, and it worked to full effect. A superb ball from Karim Benzema bamboozled a static defence. Higuain latched on to the ball, bringing it down perfectly, and after scuffing his first attempt, delicately rounded the goalkeeper and tapped into an empty net for 3-0.

The goal proved to be Higuain’s last piece of action after he was replaced in favour of Cristiano Ronaldo who was given a rousing welcome. The mercurial Portuguese obliged, and after a delightful one-two from Marcelo’s pass with Ozil, fired a powerful shot into the top corner past the clutches of the goalkeeper to make it four.

The impact of Ronaldo had awoken an otherwise sluggish Madrid side, and he almost doubled his tally after 70 minutes, again linking well with substitute Benzema and sending a testing low drive which was saved by the goalkeeper.

The Tianjin defence failed miserably to cope with the sheer quality of Ronaldo as his intricate dribbling from the flank laid off Marcelo on the left, before the low cross was finished off by Benzema in the 75th minute to the apparent delight of the supporters inside the ‘Water Drop’ Stadium. The French international again proved his worth by completing Ronaldo’s cross to make it 6-0 two minutes later to wrap up a successful pre-season campaign.

Boasting a 100% record from the close-season, Jose Mourinho and his charges now turn their attention to the Super Cup double header against Barcelona before they open their league campaign against Athletic Bilbao on August 19th.