TIANJIN, CHINA - AUGUST 06: Karim Benzema #9 of Real Madrid celebrates a goal with team-mates during the pre-season friendly match between Tianjin Teda and Real Madrid at Water Drop Stadium on August 6, 2011 in Tianjin, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
In a game that none of us here at Managing Madrid even really knew was happening, Real Madrid annihilated Chinese Super League side Tianjin Teda 6-0 in the Water Drop Olympic Stadium. José Mourinho heavily rotated the side that showboated past Guangzhou Evergrande 7-1 in the previous leg of Madrid's Chinese preseason tour, making nine changes, leaving the likes of Ronaldo, Pepe, Benzema, Marcelo and Casillas riding the pine.
The merengues had a chance to take the lead in the eighth minute, when the mercurial Angel di María was brought down just inside the area. Kaká converted the penalty, sending the keeper diving helplessly the wrong way and confidently stroking the ball into the corner.
After continuing to dominate proceedings, the vikingos doubled their lead just five minutes later after utility man and new signing Fábio Coentrão blazed out of defense to put pressure on a Tianjin player in possession, winning the ball deep in his own half. Surging forward, the Portuguese played a pinpoint through-ball between the centerback and fullback, playing Di María in one-on-one with the keeper. The Argentine wing wizard tried an ill-advised chip which was parried by the keeper, but it only made it as far as the lunging Di María's foot as he volleyed the ball into the net from a tight angle.
Despite a disappointing conclusion to the first half, during which Sergio Ramos had to limp off with a back injury, rendering him doubtful for the Supercopa clash on August 14th, Madrid came out in the second period ready to play. Tianjin also improved dramatically after the break, and Madrid were unable to extend their lead until the 67th minute, when the on-fire Karim Benzema, who had come on for Coentrão moments before, sent a lovely ball over the top of the Tianjin defense from deep in midfield to the feet of Pipita Higuaín, who made it 3-0 with an ungainly finish after rounding the keeper.
Cristiano Ronaldo then came in for Higuaín and took only six minutes to score his team's fourth, rifling in a stellar shot from just inside the area after a series of slick one-two passes. In the 79th minute, Ronaldo seared down the left flank, showing his close control before playing in Marcelo on the overlap, who sent in a low cross flashing across the face of goal where it was met by the onrushing Benzema. The French striker made no mistake. Just two minutes later, Benzema did well to control Ronaldo's cross before rifling the ball into the net to make it six goals for Madrid and seven wins out of seven games in preseason.
Karim Benzema ends the preseason as Madrid's top scorer with eight goals, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo with seven. Especially when compared with Barcelona's disastrous preseason, los merengues will head into next week's Supercopa game against their rivals with form on their side.