July 27, 2009

Real Madrid 1-1 El Ittihad Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema's first match at Santiago Bernabeu (Photo Gallery and Video)

Real Madrid 1-1 Al Ittihad

The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium greeted the new Real Madrid. Manuel Pellegrini, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Garay and Esteban Granero made their debut at the White Colosseum. Al Ittihad pulled no punches because they risked being eliminated of the Peace Cup with a defeat after their 3-1 loss to Liga Quito. Raul and Hicham scored for both sides.

Metzelder and Garay formed the centre of the defence, flanked by Drenthe and Miguel Torres. The rest of the lineup was the same that faced Shamrock Rovers in the first half. The first dangerous play from the Whites came from the Lass-Benzema connection. The midfielder saw Sneijder was alone and served him the ball. The Dutchman shot on target, putting keeper Zaid's reflexes to the test (14'). Cristiano Ronaldo also had a go in the next venture in attack, but his ball strayed off course and a corner kick was awarded.

Real Madrid dominated throughout the match, but the Saudi defence formed an impenetrable wall that tarnished their finishing touches. Benzema tried to score from a corner kick by Sneijder on the 23-minute mark, but the keeper again saved the day. Two minutes later, Raul forced the goalie to make another stretch with a terrific shot from outside the box. Ronaldo managed to dribble past defenders down the right wing in the final minutes of the first half, but one of his great crosses found no striker (41'). Benzema and Cristiano triangulated the ball twice and the Portuguese star forced Zaid to make a save on the goal-line.

Agus came on for Garay at the start of the second half. Pellegrini's men kept looking for an opener and soon found it when Benzema served an assist to Raul, who defeated Zaid after turning on the ball inside the box (9'). The Saudi team never gave up and netted the equaliser through Hicham, who finished off Saleh's corner kick with a header (17').

Esteban Granero made his debut and played alongside Guti and Lass in midfield. The new signing had the best chance on goal when his powerful 30-metre shot hit the crossbar on the 77-minute mark. Real Madrid kept having chances through Robben (79') and Raul (82'), but Zaid proved to be unbeatable.

After the match Pellegrini said:"The changes I made today were planned. I didn't want Cristiano Ronaldo or Benzema to play more than a hour ... I'm happy because these are offseason matches. At the moment, I see good and bad things about the team and of course things which need improving."

1 comment:

  1. raul showed his quality again with a great goal