News ID: 256424
Published: 0210 GMT July 27, 2019

Atleti debacle completes Real's miserable US tour

Atleti debacle completes Real's miserable US tour
BRAD PENNER/USA TODAY SPORTS
Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa scores his third goal against Real Madrid on a penalty kick during a match at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, the US, on July 26, 2019.

Real Madrid finished its tour of the United States with a 7-3 humiliation by rival Atletico Madrid in New Jersey on Friday, ensuring it heads home in embarrassment from its American excursions.

Real’s tour started in pretty underwhelming fashion with a 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in Texas, before it then fell 2-0 behind against Arsenal inside 24 minutes in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

The Spanish giant fought back in the second half to rescue a 2-2 draw, eventually winning on penalties, but against its city rival in its final match, Real’s preseason toils really unraveled.

Diego Costa struck in the first minute to stun Real, which found itself three down before the 20-minute mark, and five down by the interval.

Real’s beleaguered backline, which was not by any stretch a second string with captain Sergio Ramos and Marcelo starting, could not cope with the combative Costa, who finished the match with four goals, before being sent off.

Late goals from Karim Benzema and Javi Hernandez ensured Atletico did not better its biggest competitive victory over Real — 5-0 in the 1947-48 season — but the damage had been done.

Real’s defending will certainly be of great concern to coach Zinedine Zidane, having seen his side concede 12 goals in three games in the US, but there were very few other positives to take from the trip.

New big-money signings Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic, who have featured in all three games, mustered just two shots at goal between them in the US.

“There was no response from us to change something,” Zidane told reporters after the match.

“The first part was difficult. We never entered the game. We have lacked everything, especially intensity.

“You don’t have to spin it over. It’s a preseason game. They’ve been better at everything. There is nothing more to talk about. We are preparing a season and being calm.”

While Zidane is right that there is only so much you can read into preseason results, Real’s preparations for the new La Liga season could not have gone much worse.

Zidane’s thoughts have been dominated by Gareth Bale’s future since the Frenchman admitted that the club was trying to sell the Welshman, with every press conference since involving yet more questions about where Bale’s future lies.

There are still preseason games left to try and generate some momentum ahead of start of the Spanish season on August 17, but so far, it has not been Real or Zidane’s summer.

 

'£1m a week'

 

Bale, meanwhile, is on the verge of signing a "£1-million-a-week" deal with Chinese Super League outfit Jiangsu Suning, reports claimed.

Spanish daily Marca claimed that Bale, who has been at Real since 2013 since signing from Tottenham, will earn €22 million per season in China and that the deal is almost finalized, AFP reported.

However, later reports by Sky Sports in England suggested the player's representatives were negotiating a mind-boggling £1-million-a-week contract before the Chinese transfer window shuts on Wednesday.

Real boss Zidane said last weekend he thought it would be "best for everyone" if Bale's departure could be arranged quickly – comments Bale's agent branded "disrespectful" of a player who helped the side to a Spanish league title and four Champions Leagues since arriving from Tottenham six years ago.

Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett has already insisted that any deal which sees the Welshman leave the Bernabeu would have to be a permanent one and not one that sees him shipped out on loan.

"There will be no makeshift deals to get him out of the club," said Barnett.

"Gareth is one of the best players on the planet. I can guarantee you he will not be going on loan to any club."

 

 

 

   
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