Real Madrid wrapped up a productive preseason with a 2-1 win over AS Roma in their final International Champions Cup game of 2018.
The rain-delayed kickoff to the game saw both sides field strong starting XIs with the first matches of their respective league campaigns just over a week away.
And it was Real Madrid who got off to a stellar start: Marcos Asensio latched onto a pinpoint outside-of-the-foot pass from Gareth Bale over the Roma defence, settled the ball and calmly slotted it past Robin Olsen for the early lead.
Provider Bale would then net his team’s second of the night, running onto a Dani Carvajal long ball down the right flank, cutting back onto his left and then firing back across the goal after wrong-footing Olsen to double Real’s lead.
The remainder of the first half passed without much further incident, though both teams saw appeals for penalty shouts turned away after Edin Dzeko went down in the Madrid penalty area and a late strike by Asensio appeared to be handled near the Roma goal line.
A flurry of half-time substitutes stunted the flow at the start of the second half but it didn’t take long for Real Madrid to resume control, with Dani Ceballos forcing a lunging block from Kostas Manolas after some neat interplay with Federico Valverde at the top of the box.
The second half also saw more minutes for Real Madrid’s summer signing Vinicius Jr., who immediately got into the action. After receiving a pass to feet from Nacho, he unleashed a curling right-footed shot from 20 yards that went just wide of Antonio Mirante’s far post.
After both sides had finally completed their substitutions with 15 minutes to play, the game became a battle of possession in midfield. Substitute Jose Leon flashed a header wide from an outswinging corner but neither Roma goalie Mirante or Navas were genuinely tested.
With 10 minutes to play, sub Patrik Schick glanced a wide-open header off-target from Kevin Strootman’s looping cross, arguably Roma’s best attacking chance of the game to that point. Then, against the run of play, came Roma’s goal: Strootman was on hand to convert Schick’s cushioned header with a confident right-footed finish.
Unfortunately for Roma, the goal came too late to complete the comeback as Real Madrid eased through to full-time, with Borja Mayoral showing impressive skill to turn beyond his marker only to blaze an away-swinging shot wide of the mark in the 86th minute.
In the end, Real Madrid eased to their second ICC win of the preseason ahead of their respective season openers.
The defending Champions League winners open their official fixtures with the UEFA Super Cup against cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid in Tallinn, Estonia on Aug. 15 while AS Roma begin the Serie A season at Torino on Aug. 19.