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Real Beat Juventus 3-1 In America

This was a game which threatened to be all about Cristiano Ronaldo, even though he wasn’t there. Instead, the men tasked with fill his boots at Real Madrid this season – Gareth Bale – and in years to come – Vinicius Junior -stepped up with moments of pure quality.

Ronaldo, who astonished the football world when he left Real for Juve this summer, did not feature against his former side as he trains in Turin following his World Cup exploits and ahead of his Serie A bow.

It was therefore left to Bale to provide the star quality – which, after 39 minutes in the USA, he did with aplomb, cancelling out Dani Carvajal’s own goal with a long range pearl.

When Bale was withdrawn at the break as the La Liga season approaches, Vinicius, the most expensive teenager of all time, came on. His direct run was the catalyst which led to another half time introduction, Marco Asensio, finding the net.

Asensio got a second soon after, a soft goal which will convince no-one that Wojciech Szczesny is the man to fill the gloves of Gianluigi Buffon.

In a largely low key first half, Juve provided the only moment of note for nearly 40 minutes when Joao Cancelo broke away down the left.

His low cross found Carvajal under minimal pressure, but in attempting a sliding clearance, sent the ball into his own net at Keylor Navas’ near post.

The Real keeper got a hand to it, having been caught out coming for the cross, but the goal will do little to dissuade manager Julen Lopetegui to continue pursuing Thibaut Courtois.

Then, out of the blue in the 39th minute, a moment completely out of keeping with a low tempo friendly played on a bobbly American football pitch.

Bale picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and, without hesitation, curled a perfect effort around Szczesny and into the top left corner.

Mehdi Benatia was the enabler with a poor defensive header, and he was slow to close Bale down, but there was no denying that the finish was superb.

Both sides gave starts to youngsters and fringe players, among them Real left back Sergio Reguilon, who almost gave Real a first half lead minutes after Bale’s equaliser.

Reguilon cut in from the left and fired a powerful 20 yard shot with his right foot across goal. It was superbly turned around the post at full stretch by Szczesny.

Bale who was a cut above the rest in the opening 45 minutes in front of 70,000 fans in Landover, Maryland, and in first half stoppage time he sent a bouncing 25-yard free kick on target after Daniel Ceballos was fouled, which Szczesny unconvincingly gathered.

Two minutes after the break, Real did lead. Vinicius gave a glimpse of why £40million was spent on him as he broke into the box before slipping in Asensio to tap into the empty goal.

Asensio, another hoping for more minutes, input and recognition post-Ronaldo, scored a second within 10 minutes as he jinked through the Juve defence before poking an effort towards Szczesny.

The Polish keeper – who seems to be preferred to new signing Mattia Perrin as Juve No 1 – was too slow to get down and allowed the shot to squeeze underneath him, the ball creeping apologetically over the line.

One Real fan at the FedExField had brought a homemade sign reading ‘Who needs Ronaldo?’ On this evidence, the answer is certainly more Juventus than Real Madrid.

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