Marcos Alonso scored the winner as Fiorentina defeated Real Madrid 2-1 on Saturday in a pre-season friendly in Warsaw.
Alonso netted in the 69th minute to complete the Italian side's turnaround after falling behind early. Real Madrid took the lead in the opening moments after Cristiano Ronaldo finished a swift counter-attack, but Mario Gomez leveled for the Italian side with a fine header midway through the half.
Fiorentina open the Serie A season with a tough match against title contenders AS Roma on Aug. 30. Real Madrid play Atletico Madrid in the two-legged Supercopa de Espana on Tuesday and Friday before starting the league season on Aug. 25 at home to Cordoba.
Real Madrid enter the new season with lofty expectations after the successful quest last term for "La Decima," the 10th European title in club history. The Blancos followed that by signing multiple star names in the transfer market, including World Cup-winning German midfielder Toni Kroos and Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez.
As noted by B/R UK columnist Guillem Balague, the new signings should combine well with existing stars like Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema to make Real Madrid a force both domestically and in Europe this season:
It’s early days yet, and while there’s still considerable room for improvement in the side’s movement, what they have already shown is that this is clearly going to be a side that can dominate games.
There isn’t a defence in the world that will relish the prospect of facing a front line that comprises the likes of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and a rejuvenated, rested and pain-free Cristiano Ronaldo, not to mention new boy James Rodriguez, who still has much to learn, especially without the ball in a new position as a left-sided midfielder, but will have time to adapt.
Fiorentina, meanwhile, will aim to improve on last season's fourth-place finish in Serie A. With a healthy Mario Gomez back leading the line, the Viola will hope to make an impression both in Italy and in this season's Europa League.
Real's lethal front line was on display in the early stages when Ronaldo gave Real the lead on the counter despite a strong start to the match by Fiorentina. With Madrid breaking down the pitch swiftly, Angel Di Maria crossed from the right for Ronaldo, who finished at the back post with a first-time shot.
Fiorentina fought back, drawing level in the 27th minute through Gomez. Alberto Aquilani provided the cross for the German striker, who sent a diving header past Keylor Navas for the equaliser.
After the game went into half-time level at 1-1, Benzema looked to have put Real Madrid ahead in the 50th minute after fine work from Di Maria. But Benzema's goal was ruled out for offside, and the match remained tied.
Di Maria then had a chance in the 54th minute after receiving a pass from Kroos, but he was stopped by Neto in the Fiorentina goal.
The Italian side took the lead in the 69th minute through Marcos Alonso. The defender picked up possession on the left, cut inside and shot toward the back post, where Real were unable to clear off the line.
Fiorentina nearly doubled their lead five minutes later through Juan Vargas, whose powerful shot seemed destined for the bottom corner. But Navas produced a fine save to keep his side within one goal.
The Italians came close once again in stoppage time, Josip Ilicic volleying just wide in the 91st minute. But the miss mattered little in the end as Fiorentina held on for the victory.