Real Madrid Flourishes as Cristiano Ronaldo helped defeat Fiorentina 2-1 on Wednesday night in the Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.
Jordan Veretout gave the Italians an early lead, but that was answered by youngster Borja Mayoral and then by a sizzling strike from Ronaldo, who put in a 90-minute performance for Los Blancos.
With Ronaldo still in the midst of serving his five-match suspension, manager Zinedine Zidane fielded the Portuguese in the starting XI in order to keep him sharp. Also included was Sergio Ramos, who was red-carded in the waning moments of Sunday’s win at Deportivo, and will miss Sunday’s home date with Valencia. Otherwise, it was a squad consisting of the club’s younger players, including Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio.
Wednesday’s friendly was also a look back as history, as it fittingly paid homage to the 1957 European Cup final when Real defeated Fiorentina 2-0 at the Bernabeu to win their second continental title thanks to goals from two club legends, Alfredo Di Stefano and Gento.Real were slow out of the gates and inside of four minutes, Fiorentina was celebrating a goal.
Veretout collected a pass at the top of the area and with no pressure from the Real defence, the Frenchman slotted in past Kiko Casilla to hand the Italians a shock 1-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for Real to respond though, and minutes later it was 1-1 after Ronaldo found Borja Mayoral right in front of goal for the equaliser.The defensive errors kept flaring up for Real though and midway through the half Davide Astori nearly pulled off the spectacular with an overhead kick, only to see his effort strike the post.
Still, Astori had been left all alone on the play by the Real defence and Zidane’s men were lucky to go unpunished.Ronaldo was still the star of the show though and the Serie A side got a taste of what teams across Spain have been experiencing for years, as he put Real ahead 2-1 with a sensational strike.
Ronaldo collected a ball down the left, broke to his right and rifled in a right-footed bullet that was similar to his goal against Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup.
The changes made at half-time by both teams – Real making three switches; Fiorentina changing their entire squad – affected the rhythm of the match, but still, it was Real on the front foot.Isco’s introduction into the match at the hour mark firmed things up and the midfield wizard almost crafted Real’s third when he centred for Lucas Vazquez but the shot from the latter missed the target.
By the final quarter-hour Real were keen to put things to bed, and the Fiorentina goalkeeper needed every bit of his right fingertips to push wide an Isco shot. Ronaldo pounced on the rebound but hit the post from what was a very acute angle.
Late chances from Tejero and Gareth Bale also missed the mark, but nonetheless, it was another victory in the back pocket for Real, who will resume La Liga action this Sunday at home versus Valencia.