Melbourne - Cristiano Ronaldo was at his dazzling best as Real Madrid proved
a different class to Manchester City winning 4-1 before a record crowd in the
International Champions Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.
World footballer of the year Ronaldo showed his sublime skills and was among
the goal scorers as Real demolished the 2014 English Premier League champions
in a blistering first half performance before more than 99 000 fans at the vast
It was the MCG's biggest ever crowd for a football-only event.
The 10-time European champions revelled in the atmosphere, opening up Man
City with dazzling touches, flicks and clinical finishing for three goals in
the first half.
French striker Karim Benzema put the Spaniards ahead with a spectacular
finish in the 21st minute.
Benzema hooked in Gareth Bale's cross over his left shoulder in a brilliant
piece of finishing after a fine run down the right wing by Daniel Carvajal.
Ronaldo pounced four minutes later, getting a sublime first touch to bring
down German Toni Kroos's long pass before poking home.
England goalkeeper Joe Hart was unable to keep the ball from crossing the
line for a double Real sucker punch after piecemeal City defending as Ronaldo
thrilled the crowd his trademark goal celebration.
It got worse for City when central defender Pepe scored Real's third with an
unmarked thumping header off Isco's corner just minutes before half-time.
Deep in first-half stoppage time City got a penalty for a Sergio Ramos
hand-ball as he jostled with Sterling.
Manchester United target Ramos remonstrated with Japanese referee Hiroyuki
Kimura that Sterling had handled the ball first.
Yaya Toure slotted home the spot kick for City to trail 3-1 at the break.
Russian Denis Cherychev made in four when he stabbed home an Isco cross with
17 minutes left.
City's night was further soured when new signing Fabian Delph injured his
left hamstring and was carried off after just 18 minutes and was replaced by
Manager Rafael Benitez made four changes at halftime bringing off Benzema,
Luka Modric, Carvajal and Pepe, while Manuel Pellegrini left his Man City team
Ronaldo, the world football's highest paid player, turned on his party
tricks for the appreciative MCG crowd, with his cheeky stepovers and flicks and
was narrowly wide when he was released by Gareth Bale only to put an audacious
attempt just wide.
Edin Dzeko, the subject of transfer speculation, got his first run of the
tournament for City, coming on in the 64th minute as Toure, Ronaldo and Ramos
came off at the same time.
City's record signing Raheem Sterling had a quiet night and was well
contained by Ramos before he was substituted midway through the second half.