Real Madrid beat PSG in a friendly at Nya Ullevi Stadium, Göteborg, Sweden. New Real Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti, the recent PSG coach, started an interesting mixture of players that included Diego Lopez in goal with a defense that included only two familiar starters, Fabio Coentrao and Pepe, while the main offensive trio consisted of Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil, with Karim Benzema as the center forward.
PSG dominated most of the first half and had several scoring chances go begging, most of the misses, particularly two point blank ones, courtesy of Argentine striker Ezequiel Lavezzi. So, of course, it was Benzema who scored at the 23 minute off a wonderful Ozil assist. Mesut dribbled from right to left along the PSG box and found Karim at the top of the half-moon with a perfect pass. The Frenchman shot a well placed curling shot that kissed off Salvatore Sirigu’s left post for the score.
The first half ended with some rough play and fewer scoring chances but one got the feeling that PSG, fielding their first string, was taking the game more seriously than Real who were still tinkering with their roster.
In the second half Angel di Maria and Kaka were the big name substitutes for Real while Thiago Silva came in for PSG. The Brazilian was the only brilliant contributor with a flurry of pretty plays off of quick passing and a nice shot that went just wide thanks to a saving sliding tackle by fellow Brazilian, PSG defender Alex.
The game was hardly a competitive match as Real did not field Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Xabi Alonso, or Iker Casillas, but the game was entertaining and saw the potential of the Madrid side, playing lose and under new management.
PSG looked and played like a better oiled machine than their opponents and had a fair chance at the win, even with a Zlatan Ibrahimovic that was playing at about 85%. One wonders what the team could look like when Edinson Cavani joins Zlatan on the pitch.
Barcelona 7, Valerenga 0, in friendly
Meanwhile, in Olso, Barcelona FC beat Norway’s Valerenga 7-0 in another tune-up friendly, with goals from Alexis Sanchez, Cristian Tello, Lionel Messi, Jonathan Dos Santos, Dongou (a brace) and Joan Roman. Messi set up two goals and scored one in the first half and the Barca B’s took over in the second to keep the outclassed Norwegians off the scoreboard (http://bit.ly/19peW17).
We did not get to see Neymar team up with Messi, that will come a bit later on, but Barca looked like they were playing well if missing a number of players taking time off after their Confederations Cup participation.