Fiorentina line up with what will be a familiar 4-2-3-1 this season. There was few changes with Bruno Gaspar, Biraghi, Chiesa and Badelj being brought in. It's a relatively strong line up which will have to deal with a much changed Real Madrid team. However, there is still the small matter of Cristiano Ronaldo to deal with. The Portuguese superstar and Sergio Ramos were the two most senior players in the 11.
Four minutes into the game and it was a dream start. Jordan Veretout executed a smart finish from the edge of the area. After some good work down the right-hand side, Gil Dias played it to the Frenchman, who found himself with a great opportunity. After getting the ball out of his feet he fired a shot which with the help of the post found the back of the net.
Fiorentina’s lead, however, was very short lived. Two minutes later, Marco Asensio and Ronaldo combined. The latter drove the ball across goal and found Borja Mayoral to tap it home from a few yards out. An absolutely frenetic start with both sides going all out on the attack.
The game was already frantic with the game's fast pace. However, it almost saw something incredible. From a Viola corner, captain Davide Astori tried an audacious overhead kick which struck the bar only to see it come off Kiko Casilla’s shoulder in the Madrid goal. A brilliant attempt from the centre back which almost came off.
After a period of calm, where it looked like the game was balancing out, Ronaldo struck. On the hour mark, Pezzella just couldn't deal with the winger, who cut inside and unleashed a fantastic strike into the top right corner. An assist and a goal for Ronaldo, who was showing his obvious incredible talent. To no surprise he was running the show, toying with the Viola defenders at times.
The second goal seemed to stifle the La Viola’s attacking prowess. Madrid were dominating, and Mayoral almost scored a second as he forced Sportiello into a smart stop.
The second half sparked a complete change of the original 11. The likes of Rafik Zekhnini, Ianis Hagi, Bartłomiej Drągowski and Nikola Milenkovic all getting minutes. The second half had started in a similar fashion as the first with a great pace. Considering it was only a friendly both sides were taking it relatively seriously.
It was refreshing to see so much youth on the pitch in Viola. Hagi came so close to having a strike on goal and after a great cut inside, the offside flag just halted the Romanian from a one on one with Zidane.
It should have been been 3-1 to the hosts as lucas Vasquez was sent through on goal. It was an exquisite pass by Isco who chipped the ball over the whole of the Viola defence. Only to see his teammate blast over the bar.
Fiorentina’s best chance of the second half came to Benassi. From a tight angle the midfielder fired his shot wide into the side netting. The midfielder had made the most impact of the half time substitutes with some positive burst forwards.
With just under a quarter of the match to play. Madrid came so close to sealing the result. First it was Isco who was left with far too much space for a player of his quality. The midfielder struck a fine shot to Dragowski’s right, but the Pole got down well to produce a fine stop. Ronaldo however, was quickest to the rebound and from an acute angle, could only hit the post.
Well, that went surprisingly good. Despite being a friendly it was a fine test for La Viola. It gave a chance for Stefano Pioli to see most of his squad. Ronaldo as expected was different class. Fiorentina put in a fine display against top opposition who brought on the big guns in the second half. It could have even been a draw in the end with Benassi, a stand out in the second half.
1-0 Fiorentina: Jordan Veretout
El Gol de Jordan Veretout con el que la Fiorentina abrió el marcador contra el Real Madrid en el #TrofeoSantiagoBernabeu #VideoPunch pic.twitter.com/v3Og0hs08U— Soccer Punch (@SoccerPunch) August 23, 2017
1-1: Borja Majoral
Video | Le but égalisateur de @Mayoral_Borja qui permet l'égalisation #HalaMadrid #RMAFIO pic.twitter.com/Pi4Uq5SeRm— Real Madrid United (@RealMadridUntd) August 23, 2017
2-1: Cristiano Ronaldo
The older Cristiano Ronaldo is, the better he gets. Phenomenal athlete #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/X6SJaGrudJ— ㅤ (@___Wazza) August 23, 2017