Real Madrid took advantage of a wasteful Paris Saint-Germain side to record a 1-0 friendly win in Qatar ahead of the resumption of the European season this weekend.
Jese Rodriguez’s first half goal was enough to give a Gareth Bale-less Real Madrid side a win over the French champions, who passed up a number of glorious opportunities in front of goal.
Carlo Ancelotti started Cristiano Ronaldo, putting the Real Madrid number seven up against Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the first time since their duel in the World Cup qualification play-off between Sweden and Portugal last November.
The French champions started the brighter of the two sides in front of a sell-out crowd at the Khalifa International Stadium, with Edinson Cavani presented with a glorious opportunity to open the scoring after being slotted through by Blaise Matuidi. However, Diego Lopez came off his line to smother the shot.
However it was Real Madrid who took the lead, when Alvaro Morata slipped a defence-splitting through ball into Rodriguez, who rolled his shot beyond the advancing Salvatore Sirigu.
Corner kick deliveries were causing mayhem in the Real Madrid penalty area, with one instance seeing the ball somehow deflected just over the bar off a combination of Sergio Ramos and Alex.
PSG were dominating possession as the second half came to a close and almost finished off an astounding passing move, with Matuidi dinking a shot with the outside of his right foot just past the post after a first time exchange between Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Cavani passed up another chance to find the net, this time flashing a volley past the far post after a wonderful chipped pass to the back post by Ibrahimovic.
Jose Rodriguez came within inches of doubling Real Madrid’s advantage against the run of play, smashing a shot off the post after a good passing move involving Morata and Asier Illarramendi.
Real Madrid fielded an entirely different team for the second half, with Ronaldo coming off and players like Karim Benzema, Isco and Angel Di Maria entering, while PSG brought on Lucas Moura and Maxwell.
Benzema in particular gave the PSG backline a new threat to think about, and he smashed a shot off the bar following an excellent motion which saw the French striker take the ball on his chest before turning and shooting on the volley.
At the other end, Thiago Motta was afforded a free header from about four yards out, but he nodded the corner kick over the bar when he really should have found the net.
Jeremy Menez was introduced for Cavani and the French attacker gave PSG more of an attacking impetuous as they hunted an equaliser. And it was Menez who almost forced Marcelo to slice into his own net, fizzing a low pass across the face of goal, where the Brazilian full-back cleared over his own bar in a state of panic.
The final genuine chance of the game fell to substitute Kingsley Conan, who latched on to a long ball over the top from Silva before taking a touch past Jesus Fernandez in the Real Madrid goal. However, the keeper recovered to palm the shot wide with the empty net gaping.
Moura found the side netting in stoppage time after a jinking run into the box, as Real Madrid saw out a 1-0 win over the French champions.