Imperious Real give attacking masterclass
January 22 2017 11:25 PM
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An Al Ahli player (in blue) vies for the ball with Real Madrid (in white) players during their match yesterday. PICTURE: Jayaram

By Sports Reporter Doha

Real Madrid romped to a 6-1 victory over Al Ahli in the opening match of Day Two. The Spanish giants took their chances, scoring almost at will against a Saudi side who looked daunted by the task before them. Madrid’s intricate passing, quick feet and set pieces proved too much to handle as they dominated play for 90 minutes.
Real’s first clear cut chance came in the sixth minute, and saw Raul De Blas fire a warning shot from just outside Al Ahli’s penalty area. The crowd held their breath as the ball skimmed just wide of the post.
Los Blancos began to find their rhythm, with Jose Simal and Bilal El Khallak the key playmakers in midfield. Their confidence on the ball and ability to turn saw them receive possession whenever the Spanish side were in trouble, exhibiting that classic flair that everyone knows and loves.
However, in the early stages Real toiled, with the towering figure of Ahmad Albassas comfortably dealing with any crosses that came into Al Ahli’s area. Madrid began to focus their play through the centre, and before long they broke the deadlock.
An amazing solo run saw Miguel Pérez pick the ball up at the halfway line, dance past five Ahli players and roll the ball into the bottom corner to give Los Blancos the lead.  
Four minutes later Ahli gave away a free kick in a dangerous area. With a goal already to his name, Miguel Perez stood over the ball, eyeing up the far post. His stunning left foot strike beat both the wall and the keeper to give Real a two-goal advantage before half-time.
Al Ahli looked rejuvenated after the break, and their snappy passing and newfound poise proved that, despite the scoreline, they were far from deterred.
However, Madrid’s class soon told once more. Five minutes into the second half full-back Daniel Sanchez caught a loose ball 30 yards out. After skipping past the final defender and into the box he unleashed a powerful strike to make the score 3-0.
The Al Ahli defence finally tightened up, and for the first time Real struggled to create. An inspiring defensive display from captain Yasser Ibrahim kept the Spaniards at bay for long enough for the Saudi side to claw one back. A lofted free kick was delivered into the box from range, and a glancing header from centre-back Abdullah Fadaili denied Madrid a clean sheet.
Several changes proved to be the difference towards the end of the game, as Madrid’s fresh legs ran riot down the right-hand side. Substitute Marvin Akinlabi had an immediate impact from the bench, assisting fellow replacement Jose Juárez in the 84th minute. The Mallorca-born youngster weaved his way down the line and a simple pass across the box provided an easy finish.
Akinlabi earned his second assist soon after in the 90th minute. One touch passes opened Al Ahli up, and a simple delivery across the face of goal saw Antonio Casas Marín slide in to claim Real’s fifth.
Al Ahli were on the ropes, with each Real attack looking increasingly menacing. The Spanish weren’t finished, and in the last few seconds an easy pass through the deflated Ahli defence saw José Juárez clean through. One on one, he opened his body up and placed the ball low, out of the keeper’s reach to claim his second and Real’s sixth.



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