Melbourne, July 24 (IANS) Real Madrid overcame wet conditions and an injury-depleted Manchester City 4-1 on Friday to secure their first trophy of the pre-season, winning the International Champions Cup here.
An Australian record football crowd of 99,382 packed the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to witness Spanish giants inflict a 4-1 defeat on City, with most of the damage being done in an entertaining first half, reports Xinhua.
Star strikers Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema scored their first goals under manager Rafael Benitez, while Pepe and Denis Cherychev were the beneficiaries of two stunning Isco crosses for Real.
Manchester City’s consolation came in the form of a controversial penalty against Sergio Ramos for handball, which was duly put away by acting City captain Yaya Toure.
The night got dirtier for City in the 18th minute as new signing Fabian Delph was stretchered off with a hamstring injury, and it proved to be the turning point as Madrid piled on two more goals in the ten minutes following.
City’s defence looked shaky trying to fill the holes left by Delph and regular starters Vincent Kompany and Eliaquim Mangala who did not compete, and Madrid were able to take full advantage.
In the 20th minute, Dani Carvajal was able to turn his man on the wing before lacing a through ball to Gareth Bale. His low cross whipped in behind striker Benzema who, off a step, steadied himself — blasting a stunning volley past City’s Joe Hart.
Ronaldo joined the party just four minutes later. The beneficiary of a perfectly placed lobbed ball from Toni Kroos, the Portuguese trapped it with his first touch before poking it at Hart who managed to get a hand on the ball before its momentum carried it over the line.
City’s best chance in the early stages came thanks to Toure, who managed to force his way past through two defenders and enter the box, only to be stopped willingly by Marcelo as he attempted to get a shot away.
Aside from that rare push forward, it was all Madrid until the last minute of the half. Isco swung in a beautiful cross to an unmarked Pepe in the 44th minute, the veteran heading the ball past a flat-footed Hart, before a late consolation penalty was awarded to City’s Raheem Sterling in injury time.
It was marred by controversy however; the replay showed Sterling clearly getting a hand to the ball before he chested into Ramos’ hand. The decision stood and Toure converted into the bottom right corner.
In the second half, Isco provided a second stunning cross, this time to Cherychev who duly placed an easy finish into the back of the net to make it 4-1.
City conclude their pre-season tour in Vietnam next week while, on Sunday, Real head to China for the first time in four years, where their first match against Inter Milan is scheduled for July 27.