Arsenal 1-0 Real Madrid (3-Aug-2008)
This game was filled with physical battles (something that we do not associate with Real Madrid and Arsenal normaly), majority of which Arsenal won, Arsenal attacked as they usually do and Real Madrid looked a side that did not prepare for this Cup at all, part of it because Arsenal has had a longer pre-season than Real Madrid’s meaning that Arsenal started the pre-season before Real Madrid. Arsenal threatened Real Madrid’s goal a lot and got a goal to show for it, Real Madrid had very few chances but the most easy ones.
The Gunners started brightly, giving former Liverpool stopper Jerzy Dudek much to do in the early stages: Van Persie and Diaby tested him early on, but he was the equal on each occasion.
Real Madrid tried to fight back but the likes of Baptista, who did not play at his best and why should he as he does not know where his future lies, he might as well end up playing for Arsenal, not probable but possible, were not at the races, and the lack of an out-and-out striker for the Spanish side saw most attacking moves countered in any case.
I have been writing a lot about this in the past few months that Real Madrid cannot start their title defense without a new striker signing, Raul is not a striker, Ruud Van Nistelrooy is old and Saviola does not has the class. I think, the one positive that Real Madrid can take from this game is that Real Madrid should go out and buy a very very good striker.
Anyway, at the other end the impressive Walcott (whose pace sometimes scared me in this match, he took on players like he was Lionel Messi, but remember, it is a friendly match and Real Madrid is never good at these pre-season matches anyway_) was in the thick of it, but strangely the best of the chances fell to Madrid right at the end of the half.Raúlwas put through one-on-one, but the captain sclaffed his first touch and the chance was lost.
Credit should be given to the Arsenal keeper as well, I think he got a little touch on the ball that carried the ball just far enough so that he could get back in position but in the end it did not matter as Raul could not stay on his feet probably a more fitter and in form Raul could have scored there, but who gives a damn to a stupid Friendly.
Minutes into the second half, though, the impressive Dudek was finally beaten, albeit from the penalty spot. Salgado was the offender as Van Persie went down under a light shove, and up stepped Adebayor to convert the spot-kick with deadly accuracy, however, I did not like the way Adebayor celebrated after that goal, he was acting pretty much like Henry (very arrogant).