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Immediate Reaction (International Champions Cup): Real Madrid 3 - 1 Juventus

Real Madrid get a good workout at FedExField.

Real Madrid v Juventus - International Champions Cup 2018 Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Real Madrid beat Juventus 3-1 in a fairly entertaining game (as far as friendlies go), with a Bale wonder-strike and two Marco Asensio finishes erasing an early Carvajal own goal. Here are some quick thoughts on what went down:

  • Real Madrid’s pressing already looks quite good, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise given that Real had their moments under Zidane. The issue in the past had more to do with the consistent application of fundamental concepts, something that will surely be more of a focus now given Julen Lopetegui’s obvious desire to implement juego de posición.
  • Speaking of positional play, Real Madrid’s structure, patterns of play, speed of thought, and overall chemistry when in possession still appears quite rough. Again, this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise given the complexity of what Lopetegui is teaching his players, so Madridistas will probably need to show some extra patience at the beginning of the season. On the bright side, Los Blancos already looked rather comfortable with their positional rotations whenever Isco decided to roam inwards, allowing the team to maintain their shape while keeping some freedom of movement.
  • Gareth Bale looked bright and positive with his on-ball actions - a couple of dribbles and drives - and capped off a fine performance with a wonder-strike from range.
  • Isco had a terrible game and looked very much like someone who was just trying to regain match fitness. But this isn’t much of a concern as regaining match fitness and removing some rust are exactly what pre-season is for.
  • Vinícius Júnior put in another entertaining performance, grabbing an assist on the counter-attack within minutes of coming on and pulling off a couple moves that electrified the crowd. He did show a bit of immaturity when he blew a 30v2 break with an ill-advised take-on, but those types of mistakes are expected of an 18-year-old.
  • Asensio looked sharp.
  • Castilla left back Reguilón seemed confident and made a couple of nice plays going forward; most notably a powerful weak-footed strike that forced Szczesny into a good save.
  • It was nice to win but the result is irrelevant. These moments are all for getting back into the rhythm of things and trying out new tactics before the real season begins. Because of that, it’s advisable to avoid reaching too many conclusions from these games.

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