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Real Madrid vs Roma: Match review (0-0, Real lose on PKs)

Real Madrid played a sloppy match to kick-off the 2015-2016 pre-season.

Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

It's never good to try to draw conclusions off a pre-season game. The players are not in shape and they are trying to learn Benítez's coaching principles, so it seems reasonable to bear with some performances. This is exactly what happened today. Benítez decided to mix his teams and start Ødegaard instead of Isco, Illarramendi in Kroos' spot and Jesé on Benzema's.

It was interesting to see Bale playing behind Jesé with Cristiano Ronaldo on the left. The Welsh player had a lot of freedom to operate and was definitely one of the brightest spots during the first 45 minutes of action. Real Madrid never created much danger and the first half ended 0-0. Roma enjoyed most of the opportunities and Real were lucky not to concede a goal. Keylor Navas in particular wasn't too strong on commanding his defenders on set pieces, so that's an area in which Benítez will need to work.

The second half started in a promising way. Isco and Toni Kroos improved Real Madrid's game in the midfield. Gareth Bale and Carvajal stayed on the game but Vázquez and Danilo ended up playing the game too. Suddenly, the intensity dropped and neither team had a single goalscoring chance until the very last 10 minutes, when Real Madrid probably deserved to get the win. Lucas Vázquez could have scored the game-winning goal but his finishing skills let him down and his shot when right within De Sanctis' reach.

Vázquez was the only player to miss from the spot during the penalty shootout, completing a somewhat mediocre game in his return for Real Madrid. Still, this is nothing to worry about.

In the end, Isco and Gareth Bale are arguably the two players who performed better for Benítez today. Apparently, Isco is going to be an attacking midfielder in Benítez's lineup, something that will help his game.

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