Philadelphia: Real Madrid finished off their American tour in superb style with a comfortable victory over Scottish champions Celtic.
Goals from Jose Callejon and Karim Benzema helped the Spanish giants to go into the start of the league season in winning form.
The game, however, had a sour note as young Celtic winger Dylan McGeough was stretchered off late on after a nasty clash of heads with Nuri Sahin.
Celtic were forced to make a change to their line-up before the game even started, with Anthony Stokes pulling up injured in the warm-up, he was replaced in the side by defender Thomas Rogne, which meant an alteration to the Hoops style.
The Spanish champions had the first real chance after an open first quarter of an hour, as Cristiano Ronaldo raced down the left wing, before cutting back and losing defender Adam Matthews, he then crossed to the back post for Callejon, but his strike went just wide.
Ronaldo then had his own effort on goal as he raced forward, but unfortunately for the Portguese winger his strike went just wide of Lukasz Zaluska’s goal.
Next up for Real Madrid was Kaka, as they looked to open the scoring against their Scottish opponents, with the Brazilian midfielder receiving the ball on the right hand side of the penalty area, but his effort was blocked by Zaluska away from danger.
Jose Mourinho’s side eventually took the lead as Xabi Alonso played a ball towards Gonzalo Higuain. His strike was saved by Zaluska, but the rebound fell into the path of Callejon who slid the ball in from close range.
Real Madrid could have had a second, minutes later as Alonso floated in a free kick from the right wing, onto the head of Higuain, but his effort went just over the bar.
Neil Lennon’s team finally started to get into the game and were almost back on level terms as Kris Commons raced with the ball down the right wing and crossed to the back post, but before Mulgrew could get near the ball Alvaro Arbeloa got his head to it to divert for a corner.
Just before the half time whistle, the Scottish champions had their best chance of the first period, with Joe Ledley receiving the ball on the halfway line before darting forward, but his strike went over the bar.
The Spanish outfit came out for the second half with a renewed vigour and almost doubled their lead, as Alonso fired a cross in search of Sergio Ramos, but the ball went beyond the defender and out for a goal kick.
Mourinho`s side continued to pepper the Celtic goal, as Ronaldo dashed in from the left wing, and crossed in search of substitute Benzema, but before the French striker could tap the ball home, Kelvin Wilson stuck out a leg to deflect the ball clear.
The one way traffic continued with Mesut Ozil crossing from the left wing for Esteban Granero on the edge of the area, but his shot went well over the bar.
Midway through the second half Real Madrid finally got their second as Ozil found Benzema free on the left wing, the striker then raced in on goal and drove the ball through Matthews legs and beyond Zaluska’s outstretched arms.
Angel di Maria nearly added to his side’s lead after a superb move involving him and Benzema, before he had a strike from the left hand side of the penalty area which was deflected away for a corner kick.
Celtic were then handed a huge blow as McGeouch suffered a large clash of heads with Sahin which left the 19-year-old winger crumpled on the ground.
The Celtic medical staff was quick off the mark to help the youngster, along with their Real Madrid counterparts, as McGeouch received the care and attention he needed before being stretchered off the park.
Real Madrid continued to push forward for the reminder of the game, with Benzema once again finding Di Maria, but his strike went wide of Zaluska’s left hand post and out for a goal kick.
The game then petered out with both sides comfortable with the final score as they finish their pre-season campaigns.
First Published: Sunday, August 12, 2012, 08:38