CARSON, CA - AUGUST 02: Iker Casillas #1 of Real Madrid reacts after david Junior Lopes #3 of Los Angeles Galaxy scored a goal during the World Football Challenge at The Home Depot Center on August 2, 2012 in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
The heat and Santos Laguna's good performance provided a really hard test for Real Madrid. The Mexican team play really rough and was an important challenge for Real Madrid's offensive men. This time, Mourinho decided to mix the teams, starting Cristiano Ronaldo with Özil, Higuaín, Xabi Alonso or Granero. The defensive line had Arbeloa, Varane (sporting his new number 2 shirt) Albiol and Coentrao.
Only a late, lucky goal by Khedira allowed Madrid to walk out of Las Vegas' stadium with the win. The turf, by the way, was not natural, and the players could tell that. But hey, Real Madrid is not a team that complaints about the pitch's status since that affects both teams.This match would be the perfect definition for the word "preseason". Both teams trying to get some competitive rhythm and not giving it all for it. Even the players that have to earn their spot like Lass, Callejón, Varane, Albiol, Granero or Higuaín didn't have it. But it's normal, and the team also missed Di María's ability to break down defenses. The Argentinian player was the only Real Madrid man alongside Jesús Hernández that missed the match. He did practiced the day before the match, but the coaching staff decided to keep him out and take no risks.
Xabi Alonso put Madrid ahead with a really beautiful shot that reminded everyone of what he could do when he was in Anfield. It's true that the Spanish midfielder usually plays in a more defensive role than what he was doing in Liverpool, but a player with his shooting skills should try for those kinds of goals more often. Unfortunately, Santos Laguna scored ten minutes after off a bad mistake by Arbeloa. He tried to place his rival offsides, but decided to do it too late. The good thing is that Real Madrid's defender is not known for those mistakes, so he will probably go through the season without making another one.
The second half was very sloppy and neither team was able to create any good scoring chance. Neither Benzema nor Kaká were great, and Real Madrid's good moments came off Morata and Callejón. The two spanish wingers (we can already call Morata that) are trying to earn some minutes, but they are still too far from Cristiano Ronaldo and Di María, arguably two of the best wingers in the world of football.
Real Madrid scored its second goal when the ball hit Sami Khedira's head after Santos' goalkeeper saved the ball off a shot by Karim Benzema. Khedira appears to be very comfortable with the team and he'll surely be an important piece for José Mourinho even when other midfielder comes.
Man of the Match?
Alonso (36 votes)
Morata (15 votes)
Other (28 votes)
79 total votes