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Not Entirely In The Pink: Real Madrid Lose To AS Roma

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Real Madrid will play Manchester United in the next match of this friendly tournament, having missed out a chance on the final.

Ronald Martinez

Madrid started enthusiastically, pressing well, with Luka Modric probably Madrid's best player. The midfield in general was very good, though the experiment with Isco as a false 9 may need some tweaking. Real Madrid had more chances, dominated possession and had nine shots but both teams had two shots on target. Madrid's best chance to go ahead came in the 43rd minute when Roma's keeper was forced into a double save.

The teams went into the break at half time at 0-0.

After halftime, and after Ancelotti made several changes, the team seemed to lose momentum and although they remained the dominant team, it was Roma who got the decisive goal through Totti. It was rather a splendid effort, with the Italian running unmarked into Madrid's penalty area and sliding the ball into the net after essentially creating the move himself with a reverse dummy to the sideline before receiving the ball back. Absolutely beautiful and he was a deserved man of the match.

Xabi Alonso, interviewed on the pitch immediately after the match, indicated he considered experimentation more important than winning this tournament and considered changes to the line-up behind Madrid's loss of momentum. To fans, possibly concerned by consecutive losses to two Serie A teams: "We are not really concerned with the result."

It was not always a good tempered match. Roma's Keita showed little inclination to forgive and forget Pepe's occasionally violent behaviour during clasicos when he was still with rivals Barcelona and at one point snubbed him during handshakes (though it may have been the other way around) and appeared to toss a water bottle in his direction. Pepe, looking more than usually menacing in Madrid's vibrant pink jersey, may have retaliated at one point.

67,500 people showed up to watch Real Madrid take on Roma and the crowd was certainly in boisterous and enthusiastic mood: noisy, with several pitch invaders taking advantage of the lax security and causing a break in the match in the closing minutes of the match as the referee decided to temporarily halt play. The players took the opportunity to re-hydrate before finishing the final few minutes.