Gareth Bale scored for the third straight friendly as Real Madrid wrapped up their preseason with a 3-1 win over AC Milan to claim the Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu.
Gareth Bale, who also scored against Juventus and Roma in Madrid’s tour of the U.S. last week, kept up his fine record against Italian teams by firing home from close range just before half-time.
The annual ceremonial season kickoff game got off to a quick start as Karim Benzema headed home a cross from Dani Carvajal in the second minute.
Milan were able to respond quickly, however, when Gonzalo Higuain — making his Milan debut after last week’s move from Juventus — cut inside his marker on the edge of the 18-yard box and beat Keylor Navas with a fine shot to the far post.
The visitors nearly took the lead in the 27th minute but Navas was able to push aside a free kick from Giacomo Bonaventura.
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The winning goal came just before the break as Milan failed to clear a corner and the ball fell to Bale, who whipped in a shot off the face of diving goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma from six yards.
The second half had fewer scoring opportunities as both teams made hosts of changes. Madrid gave a Bernabeu debut to highly touted new signing Vinicius Junior as well as to teenage goalkeeper Andriy Lunin.
Luka Modric also entered the game for Madrid in the 77th minute despite persistent reports that he could be sold amid interest from Inter Milan.
And Modrid very nearly scored in stoppage time as he was played into the box with a through pass, but though Donnarumma did well to stop the Croatian’s shot, fellow substitute Borja Mayoral was on hand to head in the rebound for the final tally.
Before the league season begins, Madrid will next take on Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday in Estonia