GUANGZHOU, China, Aug 3, 2011 (AFP) - Karim Benzema netted a classy brace and Cristiano Ronaldo scored a cheeky back-heel as Real Madrid thrashed Chinese league leaders Guangzhou Evergrande 7-1 on Wednesday in a pre-season friendly.
|AFP - Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (R) heads the ball during the pre-season friendly football match against Guangzhou Evergrande|
Benzema, who has struggled to establish himself in the Spanish capital, was at the centre of everything that was good about a rampant Real before he was taken off on the hour, earning a pat on the back from boss Jose Mourinho.
The Portuguese supremo was full of praise for his men, saying that despite far inferior opposition -- and stifling humidity -- the team had performed as if it was a league fixture.
The win also means Real are unbeaten in the build-up to a season in which Mourinho will be fully expected to dethrone great rivals Barcelona, both in domestic competition and in Europe.
"I'm happy but I'm not so concerned if we win or lose or draw, the result doesn't matter," said Mourinho.
"What matters is that the team is improving in every game, the players are getting fitter and stronger and showing more quality with every game, this is what matters.
"The players are working hard as a team, not for themselves, and for the name of Real Madrid. They're happy, and I'm happy."
Frenchman Benzema crossed for German international Sami Khedira to head in totally unmarked and put the Spanish giants, who started with more or less their full-strength side, on their way after only seven minutes.
Real went 2-0 up just after the half-hour mark when the home defence went AWOL and Khedira's international teammate Mesut Ozil rounded the keeper before walking the ball in.
A rout was on the cards by the 39th minute when Benzema fired low past keeper Yang Jun, who ought to have done far better.
There was even time for Ronaldo to rattle the bar just before the break with Yang again well beaten.
It was more of the same in the second period as Real looked to put on a show at a virtually full Tianhe Stadium in the major southern city of Guangzhou.
Benzema grabbed his second three minutes after the break and Ronaldo's extravagance made it 5-0 on 56 minutes.
Real made wholesale changes on the hour, but it made no difference as Evergrande -- who are unbeaten in the Chinese Super League this season -- were simply out-classed.
Substitute Jese made it 6-0, fellow sub Angel Di Maria made it seven, before Yang Yihu grabbed a consolation with three minutes to go for the biggest cheer of the night.
Real, who are competing with a number of other major European clubs to establish themselves as a fans' favourite in fast-developing China, continue their tour of the country with a game in Tianjin, near Beijing, on Saturday.