Atletico humble Real in NY; City end Asia tour with win - GulfToday

Atletico humble Real in NY; City end Asia tour with win

Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa (centre) celebrates with team-mates after scoring against Real Madrid during their friendly on Friday. Agence France-Presse

Four goals from Diego Costa saw Atletico Madrid hand an embarrassing 7-3 defeat to La Liga rivals Real Madrid in a pre-season friendly at MetLife Stadium.

Costa had a hat-trick by halftime and added one more goal before he was sent off in the 63rd, when both teams were reduced to 10 men after a testy shoving match.

“We started the game very poorly. In a top-level match such as this, we had a very bad start, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said.

“The players are well aware and they’re disappointed. “We don’t need to dwell on it, this is a pre-season game. They were better in every respect and that’s all there is to it.”

The first meeting outside of Europe between the Madrid rivals proved a dismal night for Zidane’s Real Madrid, who saw Serbian starlet Luka Jovic hobble off after an awkward collision with Atletico keeper Jan Oblak in the 24th minute.

Zidane can only hope the news on his injury will be better than that on Marco Asensio, who could miss most if not all of the La Liga season after rupturing a knee ligament against Arsenal on Tuesday.

Portuguese 19-year-old Joao Felix, signed from Benfica this month for 126 million euros ($142 million), scored his first goal for Atletico, and helped set up two more.

Angel Correa also scored for Atletico, who had run the score to 5-0 at halftime and 6-0 before Real Madrid got one on the scoreboard before a packed house at the East Rutherford, New Jersey, home of the NFL’s New York Jets and New York Giants.

Costa set the tone in the first minute. Put through in the area by Felix he fired across his body to make it 1-0.

Felix struck in the eighth, slotting home a ball that was cut back to him by Saul Niguez.

Real Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois could only watch Correa’s 19th-minute blast into the bottom left corner.

Costa bagged his second to make it 4-0 in the 28th, Saul winning the ball after a poor pass from Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos and sending a pass for Costa.

Costa made it 5-0 on the stroke of halftime, converting from the penalty spot after he was brought down in the area by Isco.

Atletico’s lead swelled to 6-0 in the 51st minute when Costa teamed with Felix for his fourth of the night, Felix slotting a pass through Real Madrid’s defence for Costa to arc over Keylor Navas.

Eden Hazard helped Real Madrid pull back a goal in the 59th with a cross that Nacho bundled over the line.

Minutes later Daniel Carvajal’s late challenge on Thomas Lemar saw tempers flare, with both Costa and Carvajal sent off.

Undeterred, Atletico grabbed their seventh goal in the 70th thanks’ to a superb solo run by Vitolo, who seized the ball from two defenders and beat two more to score.

Karim Benzema converted an 85th-minute penalty and Javi Hernandez scored in the 89th to trim the deficit, but there was little for Real Madrid to be proud of.

Welsh star Gareth Bale was sent on with less than half an hour remaining but couldn’t provide a spark.

Meanwhile, in Japan, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Lukas Nmecha were all on target as Premier League champions Manchester City wrapped up their Asian tour with a 3-1 win over Yokohama Marinos on Saturday.

Bernardo Silva fed De Bruyne for the game’s opener in front of 65,000 fans at Nissan Stadium, just outside Tokyo, as the Belgian cut inside and unleashed a powerful shot with his left foot.

Keita Endo scored a surprise equaliser for Yokohama before De Bruyne released the pace of Sterling, who made no mistake as he slotted past the goalkeeper with two defenders in pursuit.

Kazaki Nakagawa was denied by City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo before Nmecha, 20, bundled in the visitors’ third goal in the final minute after a cross from 18-year-old Adrian Bernabe.

“It was perfect for us to play this kind of game before the season,” Guardiola said.

“We made mistakes but that’s good.”

The Sky Blues now head home ahead of next Sunday’s Community Shield game against Liverpool, with the new Premier League season starting a week later.

Agence France-Presse

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