- Wednesday, August 08, 2018 8:51 AM
New Jersey, 8 August 2018 (MIA) - Gareth Bale continued his superb pre-season form in Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Roma in the International Champions Cup in the United States of America on Wednesday morning.
Los Blancos have been making progress under new boss Julen Lopetegui in pre-season, despite the Spaniard having to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit and non-stop speculation that more big names could leave the club in this transfer window.
Bale, who has shown terrific form in Real’s friendly matches, seems to be relishing in the role of being the team’s focal point, and it was he who inspired his team’s first goal on Wednesday.
After just two minutes, the Welshman picked the ball up on the right-hand side of the field and played a superb lobbed through ball to Marco Asensio with the outside of his left foot. The 22-year-old calmly finished past Robin Olsen from a one-on-one situation to give Real the lead.
The provider then turned scorer in the 15th minute, when Bale got on the end of a sublime long-range pass from Dani Carvajal. The 29-year-old looked to run directly at Ivan Marcano, who was helpless in his efforts to stop the powerful winger.
Bale gave his side a 2-0 lead with a confident left-footed strike into the near corner that wrongfooted Roma’s new goalkeeper. The Spanish giants were in complete control at this point.
Lopetegui’s side continued to dominate possession for the rest of the first half, while they also had one or two chances to further their advantage before the break. Both teams made several changes at half-time, though Roma were still unable to enjoy possession of the ball for long periods.
The first 15 minutes of the second half were fairly eventless, until the introduction of Brazilian wonderkid Vinicius Junior sent a buzz around the stadium. The 18-year-old was involved straight away with a shot from the edge of the Roma area, but his strike sailed over the crossbar.
Roma pulled a goal back on 83 minutes through Dutchman Kevin Strootman. The midfielder was left unattended at the far post from Lorenzo Pellegrini's long throw-in, with the ball making its way to him with a touch of fortune.
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