Real Madrid faced off against arch-rivals Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Copa final in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. They ended up winning 4-1 on penalties after playing out a relatively underwhelming game.
So the first half had a few half-chances, but was actually quite boring & uneventful. The fans started doing the Mexican Wave after the half-hour mark, aptly summing up the game.
Things picked up steam after the break, with the teams looking more eager to create chances, but neither were able to actually score in normal time. We go to extra-time! Federico Valverde got sent off for an obvious cynical challenge and Thibaut Courtois pulled off a few excellent saves to force penalties!
In what seemed a case of deja vu of the 2016 Champions League final, Los Blancos won the penalty shootout to finally win the match. What a drag that was! Nevertheless, another trophy in Real’s cabinet and ANOTHER finale loss for Atletico.
Real Madrid Player Ratings vs Atletico Madrid
Zinedine Zidane (6.5) –
Zidane’s risk of overloading his side with centre-midfielders backfired as his side just couldn’t break down Atletico’s wall. His side might’ve dominated the game, but lacked the cutting-edge nature he would’ve wanted. The Frenchman’s substitutions didn’t work that well either.
But he kept his side extremely concentrated through the tough game and inspired them to put in their all. Triggered their winners-mentality into winning the penalty shootout. ANOTHER finale win for him, but the players willpower won it for him rather than his tactical prowess.
Thibaut Courtois (8.0) –
Courtois showed clever instincts by not fouling Morata in a 1v1 situation in the 14th minute. Denies him again with a smart save in the 80th minute. Avoided a late scare with an instinctive claim in added-time. Makes another clutch save to deny Morata in the 106th.
Showed excellent reflexes in the 118th to deny a Mendy OG. Superbly stopped Thomas Partey’s penalty and won the shootout for his side.
Dani Carvajal (7.0) –
Carvajal looks lively going forward today. Did a good job nullifying Saul’s threat in the first half. Continued keeping the Spaniard nullified and put in a great cross in added-time for Rodrygo’s chance. Defensively sound again, barely allowing Atleti any movement through his side. Not as effective with final delivery.
Raphael Varane (7.0) –
Varane has a formidable task keeping Morata quiet today. Almost like a Rolls-Royce in distributing the ball up the field. Barely put a foot wrong, putting in a few vital challenges and always looking extremely composed with his admirable defensive work. Almost scored a fluke winner very late on. Another rock-solid performance.
Sergio Ramos (6.0) –
The Los Blancos captain almost caused disaster in the 13th minute by playing a ball straight to Joao Felix, but luckily his corresponding shot steered wide. Played with fire again in the 22nd with a risky tackle inside the box. Lost track of Morata for his late chance in normal time.
Improved in extra-time, making one important interception and keeping his side focused. Scored the winning penalty in style to lift another trophy for Los Blancos.
Ferland Mendy (6.5) –
Mendy’s showing hunger romping forward, but his final delivery has been lacking accuracy in the first half-hour. Tested Oblak with a weak shot after an impressive run in the 38th minute. Got the better off Trippier with sturdy defensive work, but almost botched a clearance into his own net in extra-time.
Fede Valverde (4.5) –
The feisty Uruguayan’s started as a makeshift right-winger. Troubling Atletico with his movement. Acting as a real live wire moving in & around the penalty area. But he uncharacteristically botched a free header wide in the 67th minute.
Things got worse as he was sent off for a cynical last-ditch foul on Morata in extra-time. Not really suited in the wings. Well his side won afterwards, so maybe getting sent off wasn’t that bad afterall!
Casemiro (7.5) –
The Brazilian surprisingly ended up in a scoring position early on, but his shot was well saved. Saw a clever header skeet over the post before half-time. Superbly dispossessed Felix and created a counter-attack immediately after the break. Was proactive throughout, protecting his backline with intelligent defensive work to stop Atleti’s swift-breaks.
Toni Kroos (6.5) –
Kroos is supplying his wing-backs pretty well. His set-pieces have been inviting as usual, almost setting up a goal for Casemiro in the late stages of the first half. Powered an ambitious long-ranger over the net in extra-time. Helped his side gain complete possessional control but ran out of energy late on.
Luke Modric (7.0) –
The former Ballon d’Or winner powered a shot straight at Oblak in the early minutes. Creates a decent chance for Jovic with a sweet through-ball in the 51st minute. Showcased bundles of energy in driving Madrid forward and cleverly created a couple of decent chances. Slotted in his penalty smartly.
Isco (5.5) –
Isco’s operating in a free role today. Dropping deep trying to make things happen, but unable to create the spark before the half-hour. Placed an ambitious header well wide in the 32nd minute. Worked hard to create chances, but failed to influence the game as his coach intended. Subbed around the hour-mark.
Luka Jovic (6.5) –
Jovic is craving to make his mark, linking well with his midfielders. Bursts into life in the 48th minute, making a brilliant sprint from the half-line to Atletico’s goal but failed to put the finishing touches. Then puts a shot barely wide three minutes later after another clever move.
Troubled Atletico with his physicality and was more involved in influencing attacks.
Rodrygo (6.5) –
Amped up Los Blancos’ attacking intensity with his tricky presence. Blasted a shot straight at Oblak in added-time. Converted his penalty emphatically.
Mariano Diaz (5.5) –
Missed a glorious chance to score the opener by shooting straight at Oblak in the 110th minute.
Vinicius Junior (N/R) –
Brought more width to his side, but unable to influence the result.
MAN OF THE MATCH
I’ll have to give the MOTM today for Courtois. He made some excellent saves in normal time and a clutch penalty save in the shootout. Getting better & better into asserting himself among the world’s best once again.