Hercules 1-3 Real Madrid
The Spanish debut of Mourinho’s Real Madrid couldn’t have been better. The Whites defeated Hercules 3-1 in Alicante, remaining undefeated in the preseason. Mesut Ozil made his debut with the team and Benzema netted two strikes. Di Maria also scored.
Ozil was very creative and came up with his team’s most dangerous efforts. His complicity with Canales was perfect and he created the best chance Real Madrid had at the start of the match. The German controlled the ball, looked up and saw Di Maria running towards the goal. He served him the ball and the Argentine came close to scoring the opening strike, but the ball hit one of the posts (26’).
Marcelo and Di Maria connected three minutes later, passing the ball back and forth between them until the Brazilian’s pass on the goal-line to Higuain was cleared by Rodriguez. Real Madrid looked dangerous, but Hercules hit them first following a fortunate effort in which Rodriguez failed to hit the ball following a cross, but it nevertheless ended in the back of Adan’s net.
Mourinho made six changes to the lineup after half-time, bringing on Dudek, Carvalho, Benzema, Granero, Drenthe and Pedro Leon for Adan, Arbeloa, Higuain, Juanan, Marcelo and Canales, respectively. Tactics didn’t change save for the use of Gago in the centre of defence.
The Madridistas continued to dominate the match. Benzema missed the target after receiving a beautiful cross from Granero. Five minutes later, the Frenchman scored his team’s first goal from a volley thanks to a wonderful assist from Khedira.
Granero nearly netted a second strike when he was assisted by Van der Vaart with a heel pass, but Alba managed to clear the ball. Benzema then missed a shot from outside the box (74’). Third time lucky, as they say, and Di Maria eventually tallied a second for the Whites after receiving a long pass from Leon and dribbling past the goalkeeper (76’). Benzema’s excellent performance was rewarded yet againt with another strike with ten minutes to go.
Pedro Leon was sent off on the 82-minute mark, but there was no time left for Hercules to capitalise on such an advantage and Real Madrid ended up winning the Ciudad de Alicante Trophy.
Hércules: Calatayud (Unai Alba 51′), Sergio Rodríguez, Juanra (Cortés 52′), Pamarot (Sarr 79′), Peña (Pulhac 63′), Tiago Gomes (Farinós 93′), Fritzler, Rufete ( Kiko 52′), Sendoa (Thomert 49′), Tote (Del Olmo 91′ (Abel Aguilar 51′)), Portillo (Eldin 88′);
Real Madrid: Adán (Dudek 46′), Arbeloa (Benzema 46′), Juanan (Ricardo Carvalho 46′), Marcelo (Drenthe 46′), Lass, Gago (Joselu 85′), Khedira (Van der Vaart 59′), Di María (Juanfran 78′), Özil (Mateos 59′), Canales (Granero 46′), Higuaín (Pedro León 46′);
1-0, min.40: Sendoa;
1-1, min.55: Benzema;
1-2,min.75: Di María;
Sent off: Pedro León (min.82)