Standard Liege 1-1 Real Madrid: Blancos Labour To Draw Despite Van Der Vaart Goal

There is still plenty of work to do for Jose Mourinho's men...
A below-par Real Madrid came unstuck in this glamour friendly at Sclessin against Belgian giants Standard Liege.

Jose Mourinho named his line-up yesterday and opted to start with no new signings, though the likes of Angel di Maria, Ricardo Carvalho and Sami Khedira appeared after the interval.

Los Blancos took the lead after eleven minutes when Rafael Van der Vaart curled home an inch-perfect free-kick from just outside the penalty box, aided by a rather haphazard effort from 'keeper Kristof Van Hout.

Les Rouches thought they had equalised fifteen minutes later when Eliaquim Mangala headed in a Sebastien Pocognoli free-kick however the rangy Frenchman was offside.

Though Standard acquitted themselves well in the opening half, Mourinho will take heart from Karim Benzema's willingness to put in the hard yards that the Portuguese tactician so ostensibly demanded from Samuel Eto'o at Inter last season.

Mourinho's wholesale changes in the second half led to a slightly improved performance with Sergio Canales, who impressed in the recent UEFA Under-19 Championships, the pick of the bunch.

However Standard refused to bow down and deservedly equalised with twelve minutes to go when young Belgian international striker Christian Benteke headed past Jerzy Dudek at the near post.

Former Madrid youngster Daniel Opare also impressed as he refused to be overawed against the world's most expensive player Cristiano Ronaldo.

This was a good run out for Madrid as they were made to work hard by a spirited Standard side, who have already begun their league campaign and face Sint-Truiden this weekend. Jose Mourinho's men kick off their La Liga campaign against Mallorca in twelve days.

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