(ANN ARBOR, MI) – After the installation of more than 25 loads of sod over top of the artificial surface at Michigan Stadium, the International Champions Cup match between Real Madrid and Chelsea FC was hosted by the University of Michigan in front of 105,826 fans. Supporters of the two European sides were treated to an exciting two faceted game.
European champions Real Madrid pushed past Chelsea in the first half, going up 3-nil on a pair of goals by captain Marcelo and one from Mariano Diaz, set up by Marcelo. The third tally was a rocket strike from 22 yards that eluded starting Blues keeper Asmir Begovic and dipped below the cross bar.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, and Toni Kroos were conspicuously absent from the Real lineup.
Blues manager Antonio Conte, on the job since only July 1, inserted Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard in the 65th minute and was rewarded with two strikes past substitute keeper Ruben Yanez. Hazard didn’t show any rust having not played in the midweek friendly vs Liverpool in Pasadena.
Time wound down on Chelsea, but they made it interesting with a late challenge in extra time, from summer signing Michy Batshuayi, that Yanez punched aside.
Real Madrid will face Bayern Munich in East Rutherford, NJ, on Wednesday while Chelsea will host AC Milan, in Minneapolis, MN.
Spain’s La Liga opens August 19, with Real Sociedad visiting Real Madrid two days later. Chelsea will kick of English Premiership play by hosting their London rivals West Hampton United on August 15.