24 July 2012
Real Madrid easily triumphed in their first friendly against Oviedo who showed desire and courage but were no match for a team with many absentees but reinforced by Castilla players who played at a good level. Lucas Vázquez played a great first half and was among the stand out players for Whites along with Di María. Real Madrid accomplished their pre-match goals of winning, playing well and entertaining the 20,000 spectators who paid to enter to see the Whites up close. On Friday, the second game this season is in Lisbon against a talented Benfica team.
In Oviedo Real Madrid started the series of friendly matches that they will play throughout the pre-season aiming to arrive at the start of the official competition in the best possible condition. Mourinho travelled to the Asturian capital with 22 players, most of them from the Whites subsidiary. The Real Madrid coach opted for a starting eleven in which only two first team players featured, Adam and Granero, who served as captain. The remaining players were from Castilla.
The Whites started playing 4-3-3 with Morata as centre-forward. Oviedo, inspired by their fans and by coming up against Real Madrid, started with a vengeance. But the Whites made it clear they wanted to win the first game of the season. In the 8th minute Lucas Vázquez found himself in front of Dani Barrio after a good through ball from Iván and confidently beat the goalkeeper. Oviedo pushed forward in search of an equalizer but left gaps at the back that Real Madrid repeatedly took advantage of but the goal did not come, two shots from Morata could have made it 2-0 but the home team’s goal-line proved difficult to cross. A long range shot from Juanfran in the 23rd minute could have resulted in Real Madrid's second goal but it proved out of reach. As the minutes passed by the home team could not create any opportunities against Real Madrid.
In the 38th minute the score-line changed to 2-0 in favour of Real Madrid. Morata played a through ball for Denis, who entered the area and subtly finished into the home team’s goal. The Whites left Oviedo bruised two minutes later after making the score 3-0 following good play from by Lucas Vázquez whose cross deflected off of Pascual and Granero and ended up in the back of the net. Mourinho’s team remained in the ascendency for the remainder of the first half. With no more action the end of the first part arrived.
The second half began with a carousel of changes by Real Madrid. From those who played the first half only Granero and Alex continued. Jesús, Nacho, Varane, Fabinho, Lass, Di María, Higuaín, Callejón y Ríos came on. Higuaín had the first chance for the whites in the 49th minute but his effort went straight into Barrio’s hands. It was Oviedo that scored in 52nd minute though, with a good goal from Martins, who dribbled around an advancing Jesús and rolled the ball into the empty net. The goal heartened the fans in the Carlos Tartiere. Without time to react Di María's reply came in the 55th minute, taking advantage of a mistake by the home team’s goalkeeper and making the scoer 4-1. The goalkeeper hesitated with the ball at his feet and the Argentine took the ball off of him and scored with ease.
The match turned into a spectacle with the two teams determined in attack. Jesús made a great stop in the 59th minute as he pushed a Manu Bust’s penalty wide for a corner following Nacho’s handball in the area. Oviedo did not give up and continued trying to get the ball into Real Madrid’s goal but had little success with their shooting. On the other hand the Whites, did not need to do much to score. In the 73rd minute Di María’s second mad the score 1-5, after finishing a Higuaín’s rebounded shot. In the 75th minute Jesús was found out of position and Granero decided to pass to Álvaro, who plays for Real Madrid C. The speed of the match slowed down after Real Madrid’s last goal and the players let the minutes go by in search of the final whistle. Callejón could have made it 6-1 after 87 minutes but his shot went just wide. This led to the end of the match. Top marks for a Real Madrid side that has begun this season in the same way that they ended last, wining. On Friday the Whites play their second friendly against Benfica before travelling to the USA.