Real Madrid took one step closer to getting their first trophy of 2022 by defeating rivals Barcelona 3-2 in the first El Clasico of the year at the Spanish Supercopa semi-finals.
After dominating the early chances, Los Blancos took the lead in the 25th minute after a slick swift break was finished off smartly by Vinicius Jr. Madrid slacked off after that and lost their lead in the 41st minute, when a poor clearance from Eder Militao hit Luuk de Jong before creeping into the goal to make it 1-1.
Real took back their lead in the 72nd minute, when Karim Benzema pounced on a big chance to put the ball past multiple defenders and make it 2-1! But Los Blancos were just not able to defend their lead and saw it slip away again in the 83rd minute, when Ansu Fati scored a smart header to make it 2-2!
Madrid were unable to get a winner in normal time, meaning extra time was forced. Real took the lead once again in the 98th minute after another blistering counter-attack was finished off stylishly by substitute Fede Valverde. Los Blancos were just able to hold onto that lead, recording a thrilling El Clasico win and moving into the SuperCopa finals!
Real Madrid El Clasico player ratings vs Barcelona
Carlo Ancelotti (7.0) –
Ancelotti seemed to be determined to pounce on Barca’s defensive vulnerabilities and commanded his side to depend on counter-attacks & defend deep all game long. Thankfully for him, it worked out – even though it took the whole 120 minutes! Los Blancos were terrorizing with their rapid swift-breaks, even though they weren’t as clinical as the gaffer would want them to be.
Carlo’s subs also worked out perfectly, as two (Rodrygo and Valverde) combined to score the defining 3rd goal. Just one more game before he gets his hand on his first trophy as Madrid manager since his return.
Thibaut Courtois (6.0) –
The Belgian goalkeeper made some nice saves in the first half but couldn’t react sharply enough to stop the equalizer. Same case for the second. But denies a third with two brilliant back-to-back saves in the 100th. Made some solid saves to bail his defenders out of trouble.
Dani Carvajal (5.5) –
Carvajal didn’t look comfortable defending against the sparky Dembele and couldn’t react fast enough to stop the cross leading to the equalizer. But he was encouraging going forward and it was Carvajal’s shot that was saved by Ter Stegen before it fell to Benzema for his goal. Taken off before extra-time after being troubled by Dembele.
Eder Militao (4.0) –
A big day for Militao as he shepherds the Madrid backline against the arch-rivals. The pressure seemingly got to him, as he botched a simple clearance – hitting it at Luuk for him to score the equalizer. Got beaten in the air by Fati for his goal as well. Couldn’t be a defensive leader and looked out of sorts without Alaba.
Nacho (6.0) –
Nacho replaces the injured David Alaba for this big game. Probably the most composed Real defender on the day and makes a potential goal-saving block to deny Pedri in the 87th.
Ferland Mendy (6.5) –
The Frenchman did a really solid job at the back, keeping Barca’s new signing Ferran Torres quiet. Made a great run and sent in a good cross to start the move leading to Benzema’s strike. Mendy was defensively sound all game long, winning 9 duels and 2 tackles to restrict Barca’s flow through his side.
Casemiro (5.0) –
Casemiro knows he has to shield his backline strongly today to avert danger. Played a part in the 3rd goal, moving the ball forward brilliantly before sending Rodrygo through. But he wasn’t able to protect his defence as strongly as he usually does, allowing Barca to create a lot through the middle and dominate possession for the majority of the game.
Toni Kroos (7.0) –
Kroos was bent on dominating the midfield battle today and pressing the opponents well. Kept up surprisingly high energy levels through 120 minutes, maintaining a 97% passing accuracy. Did his work defensively too, tackling in key areas to frustrate Barca and helped move the ball forward to set up some great counter-attacks.
Luka Modric (6.0) –
Modric reacted very quickly to play the ball forward to Benzema and help him set up the opening goal. He moved the ball forward efficiently, but his age showed a little bit as Modric was often ousted by the younger Barca midfielders and couldn’t stop them from controlling possession.
Marco Asensio (6.0) –
Quite sparky with his movement in the early stages and blasts a shot over the bar in the 8th. Then hits another one just over the bar after a nice counter-attack in the 18th. Hits a deflected shot at the goalkeeper in the 39th. Carried the ball forward well and got into some real promising situations, but lacked the cutting-edge.
Vinicius Jr (7.5) –
The Brazilian winger is tormenting Barca’s defenders with his speedy movement and tested Ter Stegen with an attempt in the 12th. Opens the scoring with a really well-taken finish with his left-foot inside the box. Made a really clever dummy to help set up Valverde’s strike. Vinicius’ dribbles constantly threatened Barca and he was the focal point of most of their counter-attacks, running defenders ragged all game long.
Karim Benzema (8.0) –
The La Liga top-scorer looks sharp early on, swirling a shot over in the 3rd. Brilliantly stole the ball off Sergio Busquets before playing Vinicius through on goal for his opener. Hits the post after a great attempt in the 69th! But finally gets his goal a few minutes later with an instinctive tap-in from close range.
The Frenchman was a tormenting factor in counter-attacks all through the 120 minutes and could’ve had more goal contributions if his teammates were more clinical. Ended up being Barca’s bane again today.
Rodrygo (6.0) –
Made a brilliant forward run before picking out a superb pass for Valverde’s strike. But missed an open chance to make it 4-2 towards the end.
Fede Valverde (7.0) –
The midfielder maintained composure to finish off a great counter-attack smartly. Helped his side defend their lead in extra-time too with a solid defensive effort.
Lucas Vazquez (6.0) –
Vazquez ensured to keep Barca quiet down the left-flank after coming on and defend their late lead.
Eduardo Camavinga (N/R) –
Got into some great counter-attacking chances but quite inefficient in the final third.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Think this has to go to Benzema. He was really clinical on counter-attacks, set up one goal and scored one himself. Could’ve had more contributions if his teammates were more ruthless. Karim’s definitely the MOTM for this one.