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05.08.2012 » Real Madrid 2-1 Santos Laguna. Winning is becoming an habit again

Cristiano Ronaldo stretching to reach the ball, in pre-season friendly for Real Madrid, in 2012-2013

Las Vegas hosted Real Madrid's game against Santos Laguna this Sunday night and the Merengues managed to put on a solid performance against one of the strongest sides from the Mexican league. Cristiano Ronaldo was a starter for the first time this pre-season, as he continues pursuing his best form. Xabi Alonso on the first half and Sami Khedira late on the second period, scored the Spanish champions goals.

Cristiano Ronaldo had his first start on Real Madrid's line-up this pre-season and helped the Merengues beating Santos Laguna last night, by a narrow 2-1 result. The Mexican side showed their typical aggressiveness, which ended up forcing Real Madrid to respond by increasing the game's intensity, still in an early stage of the pre-season. Ronaldo assisted Xabi Alonso for the opener on the first half, but with José Mourinho rotating the full line-up after the break, it was then time for Sami Khedira to score the winning goal, with roughly 15 minutes before the final whistle. The Merengues will now face AC Milan this Wednesday night...

Cristiano Ronaldo game photos in Real Madrid vs Santos Laguna
Real Madrid 2-1 Santos Laguna goals and highlights:

Xabi Alonso in Real Madrid pre-season 2012-2013

This United States pre-season tour includes four friendly matches in a 2-week time span and even though last night's opponent was probably the less known worldwide, they surely proved to be a good test for José Mourinho's side. After beating Oviedo, losing to Benfica and then returning to victories against the LA Galaxy, Real Madrid felt the need to start a winning streak that will probably provide a marginal confidence boost for the upcoming weeks and the first official matches of the season, against Valencia CF and Barcelona.

As expected, Real Madrid controlled most of the game against Santos Laguna and the first goal ended up being only a matter of time. Still before the first 15 minutes have run out, Cristiano Ronaldo assisted Xabi Alonso for a long range shot well outside the area. The Spanish midfielder's curled shot want straight to the goalkeeper's right post, leaving him with no chance to reach the ball, that even went through the side net. Real Madrid had just taken the lead, but Santos Laguna was not giving signs of giving up so early in the game.

Alvaro Arbeloa controlling the ball in Real Madrid 2012-2013

Santos Laguna finished 4th in the Mexican league last season, but if there's one thing that most of the teams on that league have, that's surely the fighting spirit. With 25 minutes on the clock, the equalizer arrived from a goal scored by Cristian Suárez and the Merengues defense not looking good in the picture. A small lob into the back of Arbeloa, allowed Suárez to find himself alone and with the opportunity to take a 1-on-1 chance against Iker Casillas. With so much time to finish the play, the Santos Laguna forward didn't miss it and levelled things up at 1-1, a result that would drag until half-time.

After the break, José Mourinho rotated every player that had started the game, which means Cristiano Ronaldo was spared from playing the remaining 45 minutes. The Portuguese player is still far from his A-game, which is perfectly natural given the fact that this is still his second game of the pre-season.

One of the best players on the pitch throughout the second half has been Karim Benzema and it was from the Frenchman feet that the second goal arrived. Kaká took a corner kick on the right attacking side, that met Benzema on the far post and ready to strike the ball without much preparation. The shot was then blocked by Santos Laguna goalkeeper, Osvaldo Sánchez, but immediatly hit Sami Khedira's head and went back to pass the goal line. The lucky goal allowed Real Madrid to take the lead, assuring that José Mourinho's side would reach their 3rd victory of this pre-season.

Cristiano Ronaldo shooting the ball, in Real Madrid pre-season game against Santos Laguna, in the United States tour 2012-2013

Real Madrid line-up vs Santos Laguna:

Goalkeeper: Casillas
Defenders: Fábio Coentrão, Albiol, Varane, Arbeloa
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Granero, Ozil
Attackers: Jesé, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuaín

Match stats provided by
Real Madrid
Santos Laguna
Shots on goal
Corner kicks
Fouls commited
Yellow cards
Red cards
Ball possession

Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid will have one their most serious tests on this pre-season, against the powerful Italian side, AC Milan, this Wednesday night (08-08-2012). You can watch Juventus live stream, Real Madrid vs AC Milan, as well as Barcelona vs Manchester United, and Brazil vs South Korea from our football live streams section.

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Mesut Ozil dribbling an opponent, in Real Madrid 2012-2013

Esteban Granero passing the ball in Real Madrid pre-season 2012-2013

Iker Casillas making a long throw in a Real Madrid pre-season game, in 2012-2013

Jesé playing for Real Madrid, in a pre-season friendly in 2012-2013

Gonzalo Higuaín effort to strike the ball during Real Madrid's pre-season, in 2012-2013

Pepe controlling the ball on his chest while in the air, during a Real Madrid pre-season game in 2012-2013

Sergio Ramos protecting the ball, in Real Madrid friendly game at the 2012-2013 pre-season

Nuri Sahin playing as a left-back, in Real Madrid pre-season in 2012-2013

Cristiano Ronaldo being tackled from behind, in Real Madrid 2012-2013 pre-season

Cristiano Ronaldo new dribbling trick, in Real Madrid pre-season game in 2012-2013

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