Real Madrid defeated AC Milan 3-1 to win the 39th Santiago Bernabeu Trophy, with Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema starring with the goals for the Spanish football giants. Real Madrid on Saturday struck first. A fine play by Bale avoiding Ricardo Rodriguez down the right got the ball to Benzema, who knocked it into the net in the early second minute. But the joy was short-lived as Milan’s Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain, a recent acquisition on loan from Juventus, tied it up 1-1 with a powerful shot to the right corner of the net from outside the box just two minutes later in what was his debut with Milan. Higuain, a former Real Madrid star, didn’t celebrate the goal against his former club.
After such a strong beginning, the game’s rhythm slowed down, with the record European champions Real Madrid largely maintaining possession of the ball.
But the match was also a test for the Real Madrid attackers following the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus.
Welshman Bale was the player who made the most attempts at goal and was rewarded at minute 46 when he seized the opportunity of a loose ball in the area, showing his scoring instinct and breaking the tie 2-1.
The second half was a scene of constant changes on both sides, but for 75 minutes the Real Madrid coach kept the attack trio of Marco Asensio, Benzema and Bale, who presumably will still stick together for the UEFA Super Cup final against Atletico Madrid next Wednesday.
Real Madrid, reinvigorated by the acquisition of a number of young players, looked like running away with the game, though it was not until minute 91 when Borja Mayoral controlled Donnarumma’s save of a shot by Luka Modric to make the final score 3-1.