Real cruise against Guangzhou

Karim Benzema netted a brace and Cristiano Ronaldo scored a cheeky back-heel as Real Madrid thrashed Chinese league leaders Guangzhou Evergrande 7-1 in a pre-season friendly.

Benzema, who has struggled to establish himself in the Spanish capital, was at the centre of everything that was good about Real before he was taken off on the hour, earning a pat on the back from boss Jose Mourinho. The Frenchman 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. And a rout was on the cards when on 39 minutes 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 stifling 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 were outclassed.

Substitute Jese made it 6-0, and fellow sub Angel Di Maria added a seventh, before Yang Yihu grabbed a consolation with three minutes to go for the biggest cheer of the night.