Real Madrid dispatched AC Milan 5-1 at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday to round off its penultimate match in the World Football Challenge in style.
Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show in New York City, finishing off a pair of counterattacks with aplomb to send the Spanish side on its way to a victory that it fully warranted. Angel Di Maria had earlier given Madrid the lead after 25 minutes with a swerving volley, but Robinho stabbed home a surprise equalizer eight minutes later to send the match into the break all square.
However, Ronaldo took over in the second half with his brace before a late header from Sergio Ramos and a goal from Jose Callejon at the death put matters beyond any doubt.
Karim Benzema and Mesut Ozil were among those handed a start by Mourinho, who fielded a strong group to begin the match, with 22-year-old defender Nacho the only unfamiliar name. Massimiliano Allegri followed suit with his XI, playing a host of regulars, with Kevin-Prince Boateng lining up just behind Robinho and Antonio Cassano to spearhead the Milan attack.
The Spanish champion kept Milan under pressure early, with its wide players in particular heavily involved early on, despite the narrow Yankee Stadium pitch.
Christian Abbiati could do nothing about Di Maria’sstrike after 25 minutes. The Argentine winger attacked a weak clearance from a corner on the edge of the box, ripping an unstoppable volley into the back of the net.
After 33 minutes, out of absolutely nowhere, Milan was level. A seemingly harmless move was sparked into life by a deft touch from Antonio Nocerino that released Robinho, who poked a classy first-time finish into the corner.
Five minutes after the restart, Madrid restored its advantage. A swift counterattack saw Lassana Diarra lead the charge through the middle, and his pass picked out Ronaldopeeling away to the left. The Portuguese did not hesitate, and lashed home a stinging left-footed finish.
With 66 minutes gone, the pressure from Los Blancos would again prove too much for Milan, which was taken apart once again on the counter. Higuain was the architect, marauding down the right and playing in Kaka at the top of the box, who slipped in Ronaldo with impunity for the finish and Madrid’s third goal of the evening.
That seemed to finally coax Milan out of its shell. Kevin Constant came close with a header from a corner, before Stephan El Shaarawy’s shot was blocked as danger beckoned in front of the Madrid goal.
But the threat was short-lived, as a bullet header by Ramos from a corner made it 4-1 and ended the resistance of Milan once and for all.
Callejon should have extended the lead even further in the 86th minute, but steered his effort wide after being picked out in acres of space inside the box. But Callejon would not be denied, controlling a Kaka cross as Milan's defence fell apart once again, and lifting over Marco Amelia for the fifth.