Real Madrid vs Roma: What did we learn?

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Rafael Benitez took charge of his first game as Real Madrid manager, but he won't have been particularly impressed by some of what he saw.

Roma were Los Blancos' opponents in their first pre-season friendly and perhaps a little ring rustiness was to be expected.

That said, Benitez will be looking for marked improvements in certain areas before the La Liga campaign begins again in earnest in just a few weeks time.


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Let's take a look at three things we learned from the game...

Bright spark Odegaard

Young Martin Odegaard was handed a start by the manager and was one of the few to emerge with credit from the match.

The Norwegian international looked fit and lively throughout the match and was the only outfield player to play the entire game.

Much of Real's good work, when it came, was through the youngster who was a handful for Roma's more experienced heads.

Occasionally getting themselves in decent positions following good work from Odegaard, chances were wasted and ultimately contributed to the defeat on penalties.

Navas to replace Casillas?

Keylor Navas has had to wait for his chance to shine at Real Madrid but with the departure of Iker Casillas to Porto, the Costa Rican can now stake his claim for a permanent residency between the sticks.

Handed the number one jersey by Benitez tells us much, but new signing Kiko Casilla won't have wanted to be signed as a back up to Navas.

The ex-Espanyol stopper will certainly give Navas a run for his money in goal, and genuine competition in that area can only be a good thing for the all whites in the longer term.

Navas made a number of good saves in the match but looked nervous on the high balls in the box, failing to claim at least two.

He'll need to brush up on his penalty saving skills too. He couldn't save one of them in the shoot out that ultimately won the match for the Italians.

Ageing Italians too good

Real will try to spin this performance and result into something positive, and there were a handful of good things to come out of this match for the Spaniards.

But it will be a concern, despite it being the first pre-season game, that Real were, essentially, beaten by a team of ageing stars.

Ashley Cole, Francesco Totti, Maicon, Daniele de Rossi and Seydou Keita are all the wrong side of 30 yet the Italians dominated for long periods.

Using all of their wealth of experience, it was Roma who had the best chances of the match including a late volley from Mattia Destro which hit the outside of the post on 86 minutes.

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Real Madrid
La Liga
Serie A
AS Roma

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