17 July 2011
Fernando Magallon / Translation by Michael J. O'Donnell
The start to Real Madrid's 2011/12 preseason was the same as the end of the previous campaign: triumphant. The Whites defeated LA Galaxy 4-1 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in a match in which Jose Mourinho used two different lineups in each half. The Madridistas set a high pace to the match from the start and crushed their opponent with goals from Callejon, Joselu, Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema. Kaka and Coentrao also shone.
Callejon, Coentrao and youth teamer Joselu were the new faces on Mourinhos' starting lineup. Real Madrid concentrated hard from the start and gave no quarter to an opponent that is well into its own league season. The Whites pressurised in attack and looked to score from the start. Marcelo had a chance on the 3-minute mark. Six minutes later, Granero served an excellent pass down the right wing to Callejon, who lost a one-on-one with goalkeeper Saunders.
Kaka was the team's main playmaker alongside Granero. The Brazilian was quick and overtook markers with ease. Donovan was forced to bring him down and provoke a penalty, and in the 24th minute he nearly scored from a volley, but the ball was cleared by Saunders. Kaka was clearly the best man on the pitch and he played a key role in the team's first goal. Coentrao stole the ball and passed it to the Brazilian, who then saw Callejon running down the right wing and served him a cross. The former academy player saw himself facing Sauders on his own again, but defeated him this time around.
The Whites were clearly superior to their hosts. Marcelo nearly scored from a shot with his right foot a few minutes later although Saunders again saved the day with a spectacular save. The Brazilian defender later gave the ball to Joselu inside the box. The youth teamer's ensuing shot was lucky to be deflected by Beckham's left leg and the ball landed inside the goal.
Mourinho replaced nine men after half-time, leaving only Callejon and Coentrao on the pitch. New signing Varane came on, as well as Castilla's Nacho. The substitutions did not lower the pace of the game and Real Madrid scored a third goal through Cristiano Ronaldo, who defeated Perk with a spectacular shot with his left foot after a series of amazing dribbles and step-overs. The fourth goal arrived five minutes later when Nacho saw Coentrao running down the left wing and served him the ball, and then the Portuguese defender crossed it for Benzema to finish off the effort.
LA Galaxy never gave up, as befits a side that tops the Western Conference table and hasn't lost any of its last 12 games. They always looked for a goal and their efforts were rewarded when Christman took advantage of a clearance by Adan.