Formation and Tactics
Starting 11: Diego López, Carvajal, Pepe, Mateos, Cherychev, Modric, Casemiro, Kaká, Isco, Di María and Cristiano Ronaldo
Ancelotti's formation experiments continued for this match.
The team played 4-2-2-2 when in possession of the ball and a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 when not in possession. Luka Modric was key to the changes, popping up wherever he was needed in attack or defence.
Madrid's breaks on the counter were very efficient, with the team apt to regain possession of the ball further up the pitch than last season. The team had a great deal of possession, particularly in the early stages, but no sterile possession. It was a positive, attacking game from Madrid. In the second half, Galaxy had periods of possession but was unable to get forward effectively because of the quality of Madrid's pressing game.
Cheryshev and Carvajal were both excellent going forward and gave the team some considerable width. Ronaldo, no longer tracking back as far to defend (on apparent instructions from his coach) made wonderful use of the space the formation gave him. He could be seen on the left, drifting to the centre, and assisted from the right.
The first goal started with a long pass from Isco to Cristiano Ronaldo who touched down a pass for Angel di Maria to make it 1-0.
Isco assisted the second with the outside of the right foot more than 25 metres to Benzema whose perfect touch settled the ball down on the run before striking.
Galaxy's Villarreal was to halve Madrid's lead off a beautiful assist by Madrid's Cheryshev (a failed attempt to clear the ball) before Karim Benzema, off a beautiful cross by Angel di Maria, headed home the third.
Positives To Take Away
Diego Lopez had a great game, saving a near-own-goal from Carvajal and using his height to tip some convincing strikes over the bar.
Isco had the type of game Madrid fans have been hoping to see from him since his outing against Bournemouth suggested his class. His role in both goals showed vision and technique. Two over-head passes over more than 25 metres leading to a goal both times.
Angel Di Maria - arguably man of the match - scored the opener and assisted beautifully for Karim Benzema. One of his through-balls to Kaka should have been finished off better.
In the continuing second or near-second choice defensive display of this preseason Pepe was greatly improved and, with Mateos, had a good partnership in the centre. Cheryshev continues to be a liability in defence, but he is a delightful player going forward. Before this preseason he had never played as a fullback, so it is still early to say whether he can cope as a back-up for that position.
Modric, who came out of an injury scare looking fine, was everywhere in the midfield. An outstanding game.
Karim Benzema, Real Madrid's confidence-player par excellence, scored twice. It can only be good for him.
In general, Madrid played an entertaining, dominant game against a team already well into its season.