Sunday 22 September 2019

Real in a World of their own, says Solari

Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari. Photo: Eloy Alonso/Reuters
Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari. Photo: Eloy Alonso/Reuters

Jamie Holland

Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari described Saturday's historic Club World Cup win as "the finishing touch to a wonderful start" to his tenure.

Real claimed the trophy for the third successive year with a 4-1 victory over United Arab Emirates champions Al Ain in Abu Dhabi. It was a record fourth triumph in the competition for Real - one more than their arch-rivals Barcelona.

Solari has now overseen 13 matches in all competitions since succeeding the sacked Julen Lopetegui. Real have won 11 of those games, lost twice and qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Spanish giants went 1-0 up in the 14th minute through Luka Modric's delightful curling effort and Marcos Llorente added the second goal on the hour mark.

Netted

Skipper Sergio Ramos made it 3-0 with a 79th-minute header and, after Tsukasa Shiotani had netted a consolation for Al Ain seven minutes later, Real's three-goal advantage was restored in stoppage time via an own-goal from Yahia Nader.

Meanwhile, Barcelona remain three points clear in La Liga after beating Celta Vigo 2-0 thanks to first-half goals from Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi.

In France, Kylian Mbappe scored the only goal as Paris St Germain shrugged off the absence of Neymar to beat Nantes 1-0 and extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 13 points.

Lille remain second despite suffering a surprise 2-1 home defeat to lowly Toulouse, while there was fresh misery for Thierry Henry's Monaco as they lost 2-0 at home to Guingamp in the battle between the division's bottom two clubs.

In the German Bundesliga, Frenchman Franck Ribery scored twice as Bayern Munich won 3-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Mario Mandzukic's first-half goal gave Juventus a 1-0 win over Roma 1-0 that put them eight points clear of nearest Serie A title rivals Napoli.

The reigning champions were not at their absolute best, but Juve have not failed to score at home in the league this season and they kept that run going as Mandzukic struck 10 minutes before the break.

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