20 July 2009
Carlos Cristobal (Dublin) / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
Real Madrid faced Shamrock Rovers in their first preseason match and passed the test by defeating the Irish side 1-0 thanks to a goal by Karim Benzema.
Manuel Pellegrini drew up a 4-4-2 system for his first match as coach, in which Guti played close to the left wing. Cristiano Ronaldo was positioned down the right. Real Madrid had the initiative from the start, showcasing a fast game. Marcelo was very active down the left, performing perfectly in defence and proving to be dangerous in attack.
Shamrock tried to surprise the Whites in counterattack, but weren't much of a threat. Real Madrid had several chances on goal, but they too lacked importance. The score was drawn 0-0 at the end of the first half, after which both sides made several changes. Karim Benzema came on and hit the post in his first venture in attack after receiving the ball from Negredo, who minutes later had a great shot on target that was saved by the keeper.
The Irish side was solid in defence and tried to surprise Dudek in several counterattacks to no avail. The Whites had to try incessantly to break the wall Shamrock built around their goal and eventually Benzema managed to score.
The Frenchman had been very active throughout the second half, having several chances on goal. Finally, after receiving a great 60-metre lobbed pass from Heinze on the 87-minute mark, the striker sent the ball to the back of the net.
Real Madrid eventually won 1-0, leaving traces of brilliance that naturally has to be polished throughout the preseason.