Jose Mourinho's first game in front of the Bernabeu faithful resulted in a second pre-season trophy as the Madrid based club claimed a hard-won victory tonight. New signing Angel Di Maria certainly passed his test with the demanding Blancos' fans with flying colours, netting an impressive opener 20 minutes from the final whistle.
The game got off to an exciting start when moments after the first whistle a Xabi Alonso piledriver crashed into the left post with the goalkeeper beaten. Gonzalo Higuain had the ball in the net in the 6th minute, following a Sergio Canales cross, but it was rightly ruled out for an offside. Around the 20-minute mark, Penarol had four successive set-pieces situations, but all of them amounted to nothing.
With fifteen minutes before the break, the game turned from a vanity fair of individual efforts from the hosts to a horror show, starring Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos. First Ronaldo almost got into a fight with Egidio Arevalo in Penarol's penalty area, following an on-going spat throughout the first half. Then Ramos almost broke Fabian Estoyanoff's leg with a horrible tackle near the left-hand side of Real Madrid's penalty area.
The two teams withdrew with the result locked in a tie, but with Madrid certainly the team with the better chances of the first half.
Penarol started brightly after the restart, slowly picking up momentum and growing in confidence. Things turned gloomy for Fernando Gago, who was forced to leave the pitch due to injury just eight minutes after he had been brought on. Just seconds after the visitors had a goal disallowed in the 68th minute, Angel Di Maria showed us why Los Blancos paid 25 million for the Argentinian this summer when he turned Guillermo Rodriguez inside and out before coolly slotting into the left-upper corner of the net to open the scoring.
Rafael Van Der Vaart rounded off the result with a penalty for Real Madrid in injury time, after Rodriguez brought down Karim Benzema in the penalty area. This proved to be the final moment of interest as Los Blancos marched to their second pre-season trophy.
The Spanish runner-ups open their campaign on Sunday with a match away to Mallorca, while the Uruguyan champions open their season in a week's time at home against Danubio.
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