Real Madrid’s second pre-season outing against Club América ended in a 2-2 draw in San Francisco but it was one which looked far more promising for Los Blancos with an increased attacking threat, aided by the return of Karim Benzema to the team.
After the 1-0 defeat to Barcelona on Saturday night, Real Madrid were clearly out to prove a point and managed an impressive shot every 5 minutes and 18 seconds against the Mexican opposition.
Here, we take a look at some of the key statistics to help understand the match itself and how Carlo Ancelotti’s team are performing this pre-season.
5 - The number of consecutive matches without a win on US soil.
Real Madrid’s pre-season tours of the United States are about so much more than simply the results on the field, but with this draw against Club América, the run of matches without a win in America climbed again.
You’d have to go back to August 7, 2018, for the last time that Real Madrid won while on a US tour, with a 2-1 victory over Roma courtesy of goals from Marco Asensio and Gareth Bale. Since then, it has hosted a 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich, a 2-2 draw with Arsenal, a 7-3 derby defeat to Atlético, all in 2019, and the 1-0 Classico defeat from the weekend before tonight’s encounter.
If we stretch it back to 2016, which is the six-year period in which Real Madrid have exclusively toured the US in pre-season or remained in Spain due to Covid-19, the record shows four wins, four draws, and five defeats for Los Blancos from 13 matches played in the US.
Results count for little in these games, as both Thibaut Courtois and Ancelotti have reinforced with their reaction to these games, but it is a curious statistic of how the US has given Real Madrid a much more welcome reception off the pitch than on it.
0.02 - xG for Karim Benzema’s goal
After racking up 0.73 xG without converting against Barcelona, with no Benzema available, it was perhaps a return to normality that Madridistas had been longing to see the Frenchman curl a fine finish in from 20 yards out and a difficult angle to equalise on 22 minutes.
Benzema was starting his first game since the Champions League final in Paris and started strongly, being his usual clinical self. His only other attempt on goal brushed the post shortly before half-time with another attempt from outside the box in a congested area.
This strike remains Real Madrid’s only goal from open play in pre-season to date, given that Hazard’s came from the penalty spot later in this tie, but Ancelotti’s men were far more threatening against América with seven shots on target from 17 attempts, compared to 0 from 10 against Barcelona on Saturday night.
Intriguingly, the highest number of shots from a single player came from Rodrygo Goes with three. The Brazilian continued to look lively and will be hoping to maintain his form from the tale end of last season, but his confidence is clearly still sky high.
4 out of 5 - Real Madrid’s most recently conceded goals are first-half heavy
One of the most alarming moments of this pre-season fixture was to see deputy Andriy Lunin beaten with only four minutes on the clock as Henry Martin benefitted to convert after some sloppy positional defending. However, it was not that surprising to concede early on when looking back at Real Madrid’s recent record of goals conceded.
This goes beyond pre-season, where Martin and Raphinha have scored in the first period, but stretches back to 2021/22 when Rubén Sobrino of Cádiz and Yannick Carrasco of Atlético were the last two men to convert against Real Madrid.
That stat alone, particularly in the context of a substitution-heavy pre-season may not be concerning, but it is more so when looking at the flow of this game. Against Club América, it was the Mexicans who dominated the attacking flow of the game in 20 of the 45 first half minutes, compared to 13 for Real Madrid with 12 neutral. In the second period, that was turned around to 25 minutes in Real Madrid’s favour, only eight giving América the advantage and 12 being neutral again.
Given that the first-half line-up was arguably the stronger of the two teams fielded by Ancelotti in San Francisco, that may come as a surprise. América’s own changes, with seven made on the hour mark, may also play into this, but it’s clear that Real Madrid’s preferred XI have someway yet to go to get up to speed this pre-season.