Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) faced off with Real Madrid in Ohio Stadium as a part of the International Champions Cup. The friendly drew 86,641 fans, setting a record for attendance for a soccer game in Ohio.
PSG took the game 3-1 by strength of two first half goals from substitute Thomas Meunier and a solo goal from youth-player Jonathan Ikone. Real Madrid added on a penalty from Marcelo in the 44th minute off a PSG handball.
Despite the positive result, PSG manager Unai Emery kept everything in perspective.
“Considering it’s the preseason, the results aren’t necessarily the most important but I think (the players) are responding well, especially considering the strength of our opponents.”
Zinedine Zindane, manager of Real Madrid, also managed expectations following his team’s defeat.
“This is normal, this is to be expected. I’m happy with all the players, not with the loss, but overall I’m happy.”
Diving into the game, PSG would strike first before many of the 86,000+ found their seats. Jonathan Ikone, an academy player, took possession of the ball 40 yards out, took a touch past two defenders, cut inside, found himself at the top of the box and blew right by Marcelo around the penalty spot and smoothly finished to the left side.
Then, 11th minute sub Thomas Meunier collected a poor Real Madrid clearance and lined up a shot that was blasted into the top left corner from well outside the box. 35th minute, PSG 2, Real Madrid: 0.
Things would not get any easier for the UEFA Champions League winners. Meunier would break through from a long passed ball from midfield and attempted to cross over to Edinson Cavani. Real Madrid goalkeeper Ruben Yáñez dove to stop it, but could not collect it and the ball fell back to Meunier, who rolled the rebound into the unguarded net.
Real Madrid would get a goal back after a handball by PSG, and Marcelo blasted the shot to the right of the goal and past Kevin Trapp, who managed to guess right but couldn’t stop the La Liga side from getting on the scoreboard. The two teams would go into halftime with the 3-1 score line.
After halftime, Argentine midfielder Angel Di Maria came on and created a few chances for Cavani, but neither side could notch another goal and the friendly concluded with the 3-1 score.
The win marks PSG’s second in the International Champions Cup while the loss leaves Real Madrid with zero points but with a game in hand. PSG moves on to play in the Trophee De Champiens against Lyon on August 6, and Real Madrid will play in the UEFA Supercup against Europa League champions Sevilla on August 9.
Emery, a former Sevilla manager, commented on Real Madrid’s next match, saying he will watch it and enjoy it, but hopes Sevilla will win.