Real Madrid’s pre-season got off to a less-than-ideal start as they came undone against a much sharper, fitter Paris Saint-Germain.
The European champions kicked off their pre-season tour of the United States with a 3-1 loss at the hands of the French champions as Zinedine Zidane got a first look at his team in a match-day environment in pre-season.
Substitute defender Thomas Meunier scored twice in the first half to set up the win, adding to Jonathan Ikone’s opener inside two minutes as PSG stamped their authority on the contest early.
The returning Alvaro Morata slotted straight into the sole-striking role in his first appearance since leaving Juventus, as Zidane’s first-half XI also included Isco, Rafael Varane and Jese Rodriguez.
PSG coach Unai Emery was overseeing the club’s third pre-season friendly after beating West Brom 2-1 and Inter 3-1 in their ICC opener on Sunday.
Thiago Silva, Javier Pastore, Lucas Moura and Edinson Cavani all started for PSG as Emery looked to step up the pace.
And proceedings got off to a perfect start as teenager Ikone tore through the Madrid defence, who struggled to muster a tackle on the 18-year-old, to score the opener before the contest was two minutes old, dribbling past a four helpless defenders before slotting the ball past Francisco Casilla in the Madrid goals.
Silva was substituted with an injury after just 10 minutes, following a poor challenge he committed and received a yellow card for, with Meunier coming on to replace him.
While the right-back’s introduction was forced, it proved an inspired one as he thrashed in an amazing strike after 34 minutes following another terrible turnover from the Madrid defence as they looked to play the ball out from the back.
Meunier gave Madrid no time to react as he lashed a strike beyond Casilla before he could even move to double PSG’s advantage, and he would make it 3-0 not long after as he capitalised on more terrible defending to nudge the ball home after a scrap in the Madrid penalty area.
Marcelo scored Madrid’s first-half consolation as the opening 45 minutes drew to a close, converting a penalty following a defensive handball to deny Kevin Trapp a clean sheet.
Zidane sent out a completely different team for the second half, with Marco Asensio, Martin Odegaard and Dani Carvajal all coming on, while he also called on his son Enzo who replaced Lucas Vazquez.
The new look Madrid gave a better account of themselves, as PSG introduced former Madrid star Angel di Maria for goalscorer Ikone, but they struggled to break down a compact Paris defence, making for a flat start to the pre-season schedule as Emery continued his flawless start to life with the French giants.