Bayern steal spotlight with 3-1 win on Hazard’s Real debut

Updated July 22, 2019

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HOUSTON: Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane gestures during the International Champions Cup match against Bayern Munich at the NRG Stadium.—AFP
HOUSTON: Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane gestures during the International Champions Cup match against Bayern Munich at the NRG Stadium.—AFP

HOUSTON (Texas): Bayern Munich spoiled Eden Hazard’s Real Madrid debut, downing the Spanish giants 3-1 in an entertaining International Champions Cup match on Saturday despite goalkeeper Sven Ulreich’s sending off.

Real, who started with a full-strength side that inclu­ded a debut for former Chel­sea attacking midfielder Hazard went 1-0 down after just a quarter of an hour.

David Alaba cut the ball back from the left and although Corentin Tolisso’s first shot was saved off the line he hammered the rebound into the roof of the net to put the Germans 1-0 ahead.

Real, though, had the better of the first half with only Manuel Neuer’s presence and Karim Benzema’s profligacy preventing them from drawing equal in a relaxed but end-to-end match.

Bayern made five changes at the start of the second half and Real made 11, with Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo for Real and defenders Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard for Bayern among the big-name off-season arrivals making their debuts.

Real’s young and speedy forwards started the second period on top but instead it was two of Bayern’s substitutes who helped seal the result.

First Robert Lewandowski held off his marker to turn midway through the second half and fire a low shot home from 12 meters out and then Serge Gnabry took advantage of sloppy defending to score from a similar position two minutes later.

Rodrygo got a consolation goal from a free kick with six minutes to go after Ulreich’s departure in the 81st for a foul on the Brazilian teen outside the area.

NEW CLUB FOR BALE

Following the match Real manager Zinedine Zidane said the club wanted to part ways with Gareth Bale, six years after they broke a world transfer record to sign the Wales winger.

Zidane said that he expects Real to conclude a transfer for Bale to another club “in the coming days.”

“We’ll have to see if it goes through tomorrow, if it does then all the better,” Zidane said after Bale did not play in the loss to Bayern. “Let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, that it happens soon. The club is dealing with the club that he’ll move to.”

Bale, 30, has won four Champions League titles since joining Real from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 for a then world record 100 million euros ($112.20 million) but struggled to hold down his place in the starting side last season.

Published in Dawn, July 22nd, 2019