Rangers 2-1 Real Madrid (Rodrygo Goes). Here is the immediate reaction to the first loss of the summer. On the way: press conference highlights and the ManagingMadrid podcast.
Real Madrid had already played two pre-season friendlies behind closed doors and Valdebebas, and they were still without the international stars for the first away trip of the summer in Scotland. The starting line did consist of the most senior players available, though. That still included Castilla players Víctor Chust and Antonio Blanco, with others returning from loan spells such as Luka Jović and Martin Ødegaard. Marcelo had the captains armband at Ibrox. This was only Real Madrid’s second ever appearance at the famous stadium, their first being a 1-0 win way back in the 1963/64 European Cup.
Rangers could and should have been 1-0 up within two minutes after Isco’s giveaway allowed the hosts to put in a really dangerous cross which could not be steered towards goal. Real Madrid then settled in and managed to take the lead minutes later. Ødegaard picked up the ball in his own half and travelled deep into enemy territory, before finding Rodrygo Goes - who floored one defender before finishing as calmly as possible past Allan McGregor. For a pre-season game, there were a number of good chances, with many coming from the home side. They did not shy away, with Ryan Kent and Fashion Sakala impressing up front. Rangers’ best chance came through Kent as he hit the bar after a cross found him inside the six yard box. Andriy Lunin had to equal a number of low strikes flying his way, looking both sharp and brave when facing aerial challenges.
Rangers continued to push in the second half, looking very keen to earn a historic result for the club. They equalised around the ten minute mark after Lucas Vázquez was pickpocketed just outside of the box. The ball fell to Sakala who smashed it passed Lunin’s left. Castilla players Sergio Arribas, Mario Gila, Marvin Park, Miguel Gutiérrez, Iván Morante and Carlos Dotor then all came into play. Rangers understandably started to dominate, although a link-up between the now winger Marcelo and Gutiérrez finished with the young full-back hitting the post. Nacho Fernández made things even harder when he was sent off for a silly high challenge to earn his second yellow of the game. This resulted in Rangers taking the lead a minute later through substitute Cedric Itten. The match ended 2-1 to Rangers who handed Madrid their first loss of pre-season. Of course, this very skinny, young side at the beginning of their summer schedule will take little notice of this result - but there are some performances and kinks that naturally need to be built upon as pre-season continues on. Stick around for the ManagingMadrid podcast coming up soon...