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Immediate Reaction: Juventus 3-1 Real Madrid

Quick recap from Real Madrid last pre-season game.

SOCCER: AUG 02 Soccer Champions Tour - Juventus vs Real Madrid Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Real Madrid made their final pitstop in Orlando to finish an eventful preseason before returning to Spain. The game against Juventus...

Once again, Carlo Ancelotti went with the diamond, but the starting XI saw some significant changes. Joselu was deployed as Vini Jr’s strike partner, Modric, and Kroos both started, while Tchouameni was given some rest in the Orlando heat. Real Madrid conceded in the first minute of the game at the hands of Moes Kean and again before the first hydration break as Timothy Weah took advantage of a defensive breakdown from Madrid in transition.

Real Madrid woke up after the hydration break and started to create a flurry of opportunities. Vinicius Jr. brought Madrid back into the game after finishing a great counterattack with a calmly finished goal. Real Madrid simply decided to dial up the intensity and overwhelm Juventus with an array of quality sequences and shots. Madrid also started to spray crosses into the box, with Jude Bellingham and Joselu both getting stationed as target men. Wojciech Szczęsny made some heroic saves during this phase to keep Juventus 2-1 up at halftime.

Some of Real Madrid’s lingering issues persisted in the opening quarter of the game when the team struggled to create any pressure in the mid-third which allowed Juventus to make regular inroads into the Madrid box. After the hydration break, it was all Real Madrid in the first half.

Madrid sustained the pressure in the second half as well, and Juventus tried to become more physically imposing. Madrid brought on Militao, Alaba, Tchouameni, Rodrygo, Valverde, and Carvajal at the hour mark. Valverde immediately hit the bar with an audacious effort after coming on. Real Madrid created numerous threatening sequences on the left flank, with Jude, Vinicius, Kroos, and Fran Garcia all getting heavily involved. But Los Blancos were missing the final edge to equalize the game. Vinicius Jr came off for Brahim in the 77th minute. Ancelotti also decided to give some minutes to Odriozola in the last game of the preseason. Dusan Vlahovic scored in the final minute of stoppage time to make it a 3-1 win for Juve.

Closing notes from the pre-seasons: Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga, and Aurelian Tchouameni have impressed, and they have shown why they are ready to be undisputed starters. Vinicius Jr. has a battle in front of him to adapt to a new position, but if anyone can, it’s him on this roster. He was Madrid’s top scorer in pre-season. Joselu scored a cracking goal vs. United but has been rather disappointing ever since. Brahim’s lack of involvement in the last two games is perhaps a forecast of what kind of role he might have this season. While it’s been refreshing to see Fran Garcia becoming much more involved in the attack as a left-back, the contribution from the right-backs remains a concern.

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