Real Madrid's superlative quality won out against a hard-working but ultimately over-matched AC Milan side in front of a record shattering crowd (for soccer) in Yankee Stadium, as the Spanish Champions engineered an eye-opening, richly deserved 5-1 scoreline. There were impressive performances up and down Madrid's roster and the team looks to be gathering rhythm and rounding nicely into form as their league opener against Valencia on August 19 quickly approaches.
More observations after the jump.
I thought that Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil both looked very sharp and the two German internationals seem comfortable and relaxed heading into the la Liga campaign, despite Germany's disappointing semifinal exit from the Euros earlier this summer.
Angel Di Maria was a buzzing blast of energy that seemed to be everywhere at once on the pitch, culminating in his sublime 1st half strike that gave Madrid a 1-0 lead. Di Maria was also extremely impressive against the LA Galaxy last week and seems poised on the brink of a monster season this year if he is only able to stay healthy.
I like the workrate displayed by Fabio Coentrao, but Coentrao's pace, while furious, seemed to be largely unfocused and ineffective. I think Coentrao is one of the players in this Real Madrid side with the most to prove in the upcoming season. Lass Diarra's workrate was also noticeable and he actually was able to channel it into an effective two-way performance, playing solid defense and picking out a pretty, precise diagonal ball to Cristiano Ronaldo to slot home for Madrid's second goal.
In what has to be a terrifying concept for la Liga keepers and defenders, CR7 looks like he benefited tremendously from spearheading Portugal's deep run in the European championships and actually appears as if he could be even more confident and deadly, netting 2 beautifully effortless strikes against Milan.
The battle for minutes between Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain is heating up again and it seems like the pendulum could be swinging back towards Higuain, as the Argentinian striker looked sharp and motivated against Milan after he was introduced into the match.
I can't even imagine what was going through Kaka's mind as he took the pitch against his old team, who, if the press reports are to be believed, were in negotiations to once again become his current team. The resilient, mentally tough Brazilian showed everyone on both sides of the field what he was still capable of, turning in a fluid, masterful 2nd half performance where he created numerous opportunities, ending up with three very stylish assists.
Overall, Real Madrid dominated the Italian stalwarts, carrying the play over the course of the entire match in front of nearly 50,000 fans. It was a strong performance that had to have made Jose Mourinho happy as los blancos now set their sights on Scottish Champions Celtic this Saturday in the last match of their American tour.
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