Real Madrid slumped to their second defeat in the Guinness International Champions Cup, losing 1-0 to Roma. Francesco Totti scored the game’s only goal early in the second-half.
Madrid’s side featured a number of first team players, with Iker Casillas, Xabi Alonso, Fabio Coentrao, Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric making their first appearance in the tournament.
One Castilla player
Lucas Vasquez was the only Castilla player named in the starting XI. The young winger was tasked with occupying Ashley Cole, and whilst much of the build-up play ended with Bale down the left-hand side, he didn’t seem out of place when in possession.
He was the first to properly test Lukasz Skorupski in the Roma net, firing goal-bound after latching onto Gareth Bale’s knock-down.
Isco occupied an unfamiliar false nine role, but often drifted, allowing Bale and other midfield runners to give the defensive pairing of Medhi Benatia and Leandro Castan something to think about.
Roma offer relatively little in attack, with Casillas - given a starting berth ahead of Diego Lopez - left with nothing to do during the first 45 minutes. Madrid were camped in Roma’s half for much of it but had little to show for their efforts.
Ancelotti called upon Raul De Tomas to offer a genuine centre forward threat, whist Lopez replaced Casillas between the sticks. Nacho and Arbeloa were also given a 45-minute run-out.
During the second-half, much like their first friendly against Inter, their influence in the match began to wane. Roma were pulling the strings, and it wasn’t long before they took the lead through captain fantastic Totti.
Seydou Keita’s pass, which was cleverly dummied by Totti, found Alessandro Florenzi, who crossed to find the 36-year-old free in the area, who wasn’t going to miss.
The Italians nearly doubled their lead but Miralem Pjanic diverted Totti’s pass narrowly wide of Lopez’s goal.
As the match wore on, the average age of Madrid’s team continue to drop, as Carlo Ancelotti called some of the more inexperienced options available to him.
If the fact that this was no more than a pre-season friendly wasn’t apparent, the pitch became awash with streakers looking to meet the stars on the pitch. Regardless, Ancelotti won’t be pleased that his side are yet to win in the tournament.
While these pre-season matches are mostly about fitness and evaluating club’s young prospects, Ancelotti would hope for a little more from his players in terms of performance. With group leaders Manchester United to come, Madrid will be looking to restore some pride.
Although many first team players featured, there were still some notable exclusions. Cristiano Ronaldo - who received a rousing reception every time his face appeared on the big screen - didn’t feature.
Also yet to make an appearance are summer signings James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira, Raphael Varane, Karim Benzema, Marcelo and Angel Di Maria.