Spectators at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, USA were treated to a riveting game of football, where the Spanish titans, Real Madrid, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in a thrilling pre-season friendly against Milan.
The final score was 3:2, a remarkable recovery considering Real Madrid trailed by two goals at halftime.
The Game of Two Halves
Milan struck first, seizing a promising lead in the opening half. Fikayo Tomori opened the scoring for the Rossoneri in the 25th minute with an assist from Christian Pulisic.
Luka Romero then extended the lead to 2:0 in the 42nd minute, leaving Real Madrid with a daunting challenge as they retired to the dressing room at halftime. However, Real Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti, made a strategic masterstroke, adjusting his line-up with eight changes that dramatically altered the course of the game.
Real Madrid's Spirited Comeback
After the break, a revitalised Real Madrid side made their presence felt, with Federico Valverde leading the charge. The Uruguayan midfielder scored two quick-fire goals in the 57th and 59th minutes to level the playing field.
Then, in the 84th minute, it was Luka Modric's brilliance that turned the tide in Real Madrid's favor. The seasoned Croatian international, defying his age, crafted a sublime long pass from his half to find Vinicius Junior.
The young Brazilian forward skilfully evaded Milan's Simon Kjaer to notch the decisive goal, giving Real Madrid a hard-fought 3:2 victory.
Madrid Marches On Without Benzema
For the first time in 14 years, Real Madrid embarked on the pre-season without their veteran striker, Karim Benzema, who has moved to Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad.
His absence left a significant gap in Madrid's attack that has yet to be filled, with no new striker signings to date. Yet, despite this void, Real Madrid demonstrated impressive resolve against Milan, exhibiting clinical finishing in the second half to compensate for their lacklustre start.
While the plaudits for this comeback are deserved, it's worth noting that this was just a friendly match, and bigger challenges lie ahead in the new season.