Rodriguez strike caps Real’s 3-0 victory over Inter

Guangzhou, July 27

James Rodriguez curled home a superb free kick to cap Real Madrid’s 3-0 win over Inter Milan in a friendly in Guangzhou on Monday.

The Colombian midfielder, brought on for just the last 10 minutes of the International Champions Cup match, stepped up to bend the ball around the Inter wall from 25 metres out, giving goalkeeper Samir Handanovic no chance.

Real Madrid youth product Jese had given his side the lead half an hour in, deftly controlling Marcelo’s cross with his right foot, then stepping inside to score with his left at Handanovic’s near post. Inter, beaten 1-0 by both Bayern Munich and AC Milan over the last week in China, enjoyed much of the early possession but were exposed by the pace of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo on the counter-attack.

A trademark free kick from the Portuguese wide man brought a terrific save out of the Inter goalkeeper midway and Bale also threatened after neat interplay with Jese. Real made five changes at the break but maintained the momentum and got a second in the 56th minute when defender Raphael Varane put away Lucas Vazquez’s cross from close range.

The tempo dropped significantly as the game wore on, as much due to the stifling humidity as the wholesale changes made by both teams, but Rodriguez delivered the pick of the goals in the 88th minute to seal a comfortable win for the La Liga side.

Real, who travelled to China from Australia after playing in another ICC tournament, wrap up the Asia competition against AC Milan in Shanghai on Thursday.