Euro­pean champs lift to lay waste to Manch­ester City

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - BEN MCKAY

REAL Madrid daz­zled a record football crowd at the MCG last night on the way to stun­ning Manch­ester City with a 4- 1 thump­ing.

First- half goals from Karim Ben­zema, Cris­tiano Ron­aldo and Pepe won the con­test for Real in front of a crowd of 99,382.

City found a re­ply through a Yaya Toure penalty, but a sec­ond- half goal fin­ish from De­nis Ch­erych- ev put paid come­back.

Af­ter a dire first- up dis­play against Roma a week ear­lier, Real pro­duced a vir­tu­oso per­for­mance to claim the inau­gu­ral In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­ons Cup Aus­tralia.

In front of a record MCG crowd for a football match, Real’s for­ward line, led by Ron­aldo, made mince­meat of City’s two young cen­tre­backs. Both sides fielded strong start­ing line- ups, ex­cept for 16- year- old Camer-

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City on Humphreys and 20year- old Jason De­nayer at the heart of City’s de­fence.

It didn’t take long for Real to put them to work, although City had the first ma­jor chance.

Manuel Pel­le­grini’s side were de­nied a cast- iron penalty on 10 min­utes, when Real keeper Keilor Navas at­tempted to clean up a Ser­gio Ramos mis­take but in­stead el­bowed Toure in the head.

City found

them­selves be­hind shortly af­ter. Gareth Bale’s cen­tre found Ben­zema, who volleyed ex­pertly on 21 min­utes.

It was 2- 0 three min­utes later when Ron­aldo brought un­der con­trol Toni Kroos’ pin­point long- ball be­fore vol­ley­ing home with his sec­ond touch. The Por­tuguese star cel­e­brated in front of the Punt Road end af­ter City goal­keeper Joe Hart palmed it over the line.

A rout was on when Isco’s curl­ing cor­ner found Pepe, who sent a bullet header past Hart to give Los Merengues a 3- 0 lead on 43 min­utes.

But a du­bi­ous de­ci­sion against Ramos gave City a penalty in the last minute be­fore the break. Re­plays showed Ramos’ hand­ball was pre­ceded by another from Ra­heem Ster­ling, but in any case Toure’s goal made up for the miss­ing whis­tle ear­lier in the half.

Pel­le­grini will rue an in­jury to Fabian Delph.

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