Rangers ended their pre-season in impressive fashion, coming from behind to beat Real Madrid 2-1 in their final friendly ahead of Saturday’s Scottish Premiership opener.
Steven Gerrard’s side looked sharp and dangerous in attack throughout the first half. Summer signing Fashion Sakala carved out numerous chances in the opening 45 minutes, while Ryan Kent hit the underside of the crossbar.
However, it was Real Madrid who went in ahead after Rodrygo’s (8) early goal – their only shot of the opening period.
But ten minutes after the break, Sakala finally scored the goal he deserved (55), powering home past Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin and introducing himself to the Rangers fans in superb style.
Rangers were the better side from the off, and should have opened the scoring twice inside three minutes. Firstly, John Lundstram found Sakala in the middle after a driving run down the right wing, but the latter did not make the right contact. It was Sakala again moments later, but his fierce volley flashed across the face of goal
Real’s only chance of any note in the first half saw them find the net. It was a quickfire break that caught Rangers out, with Martin Odegaard driving down the field. He then slotted in Rodrygo to his left, who managed to skip through the blue shirts ahead of him before slotting home past Allan McGregor.
It was a sensational break from Rangers, the lively Scott Wright driving into the area before cutting the ball back for Sakala in the middle. His attempted shot was scuffed, but landed kindly to the waiting Kent at the back post. However, his strike pinged off the underside of crossbar before going wide.
Rangers had 17 shots in the first half, and ten minutes after the break, they finally found the net. Sakala had impressed throughout, and nabbed his first goal for the club as he hammered the ball past Lunin. Glen Kamara had done superbly in the build-up too, battling against Lucas Vazquez to slot Sakala through.
Soon after, there were a raft of changes on both sides which altered the complexion of the game, but Real stalwart Nacho had few excuses when he was shown a second yellow card in the 75th minute. He caught Kamara high on the thigh with his studs up and, having already been booked, was shown a red.
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