Real Madrid started their pre-season campaign efficiently with a comfortable 6-0 win over English side AFC Bournemouth in evening sun on Sunday, in front of a sell-out crowd.
Despite facing an outfit who have only recently climbed into the second tier of English football, Carlo Ancelotti was to take no prisoners with his starting line-up, deploying his star players to devastating first-half effect.
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Sami Khedira, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria and Casemiro gave Los Blancos a high-scoring win, with Bournemouth doing little to threaten their clean sheet. Fielding an almost entirely different outfit in either half, Los Blancos were to utilise all of their options to victorious, free-flowing effect.
Bournemouth went close to having a fairytale start, as a tantalising cross from Brett Pitman was permitted to flash across the face of goal by Pepe, with striker Lewis Grabban inches away from poking the unclaimed delivery beyond Diego Lopez.
The script was to revert to normality soon after, however, as Cristiano Ronaldo converted a trademark long-range free-kick on 22 minutes. The Portuguese rattled a dipping effort into the bottom right corner, leaving Cherries keeper Darryl Flahavan helplessly sprawled in his goalmouth.
Karim Benzema was then given two chances in quick succession, but the Frenchman was denied well by Bournemouth Player of the Year Tommy Elphick. Courtesy of a miscue from the impressive Elphick, his missed clearance allowed for Cristiano to ruthlessly capitalise on the Englishman’s error, skipping past Flahavan in the Bournemouth penalty area before sliding the ball home in the 41st minute.
Two minutes later, it was 3-0, as Sami Khedira was allowed time and space to connect with an Isco corner, despite Cherries’ midfielder Shaun MacDonald failing to clear the Germany international’s effort off the goalline, giving Real Madrid a deserved half-time lead.
After 15 minutes of respite for the English club, Gonzalo Higuain smashed home Madrid’s fourth a minute after the restart. New signing Asier Illarramendi threaded the Argentine through on goal, and Higuain wasn’t to make any mistake from eight yards.
The floodgates weren’t to open following the substitutes’ strike though, as chances became limited, the best of which was a Higuain effort that was acrobatically turned over the crossbar by Flahavan.
On 68 minutes, it was the turn of another Argentine talent to imprint himself on the match, as Angel Di Maria fired himself onto the scoresheet. Cutting in from the right flank, the 25-year-old beat two men before placing the ball in the bottom corner with his left foot, leaving Flahavan no chance.
Ancelotti will be encouraged by tidy performances from the younger contingent of his newly-inherited squad, none moreso than Casemiro. The Brazilian youngster strode powerfully into the box on 83 minutes, thrashing the ball home at the near post after wrongfooting Flahavan, to complete the friendly rout.
Real Madrid next face Olympique Lyonnais on Wednesday in good spirits, as Los Blancos look to gather some momentum in their pre-season campaign, following an efficient display at Seward Stadium.