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New Galacticos fail to impress in opening win
by Paul Kennedy, August 31st, 2009 7AM

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[SPAIN] Real Madrid debuted its $300 signings on Saturday, but they struggled to beat Deportivo Coruna, 3-2, in La Liga opener on Saturday in Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo, the most expensive signing at $131 million, converted a penalty kick, but he otherwise wasn't much of a factor in the game. Real needed goals from holdovers Lassana Diarra and Raul to pull out the win.

"It was important for us to start with a win as the first game is always complicated," Ronaldo said. "We had some good and bad moments in the game and have to improve."

Real Madrid's newcomers weren't signed to sit on the bench, so all six were in Manuel Pellegrini's starting lineup -- Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema, Xabi Alonso, Alvaro Arbeola and Raul Albiol.

In addition, two other starters -- Ezequiel Garay and Esteban Granero -- were playing their first games for Real since returning to the club.

Besides Diarra and Raul, the only other holdover from last season in the Real starting lineup was goalie Iker Casillas.

"There's a lot of room for improvement," said Xabi Alonso. "We need to gel. As soon as possible."

 



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