clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Atlético de Madrid vs Real Madrid, 2014 Spanish Supercup: RM Lose the Supercup to a Superior Atleti (1-0)

After Real Madrid's poor performance on the first leg, many of us expected changes and an improvement for this game. We didn't get either of those.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

It was the second leg of the Spanish Supercup, the second of six trophies Real Madrid were looking to win this year. Even before the start of the game there was a lot of noise surrounding the team, with Ángel Di María and Sami Khedira being discarded for this game. Also, and probably even more discussed than that, was the news about Iker Casillas starting again for Real Madrid. Maybe those two thing were a bit distracting and that might explain the slow start we were about to witness.

The start of the game was a complete disaster for los Blancos. They looked overwhelmed in the first couple minutes, which translated into an early goal for the Colchoneros by Mario Mandzukic. Terrible play by both Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane as they failed miserably to clear the ball.

Real Madrid slowly started to settle on the pitch, but they struggled mightily to do anything meaningful with the ball. It was the exact opposite for Simeone's team. Every single time they made it past midfield it felt like disaster was about to strike. Mandzukic was abusing Real's defensive line.

Things started looking better after two consecutive dangerous plays by Dani Carvajal and James Rodríguez (a great shot deflected by Moyá), but the best thing that happened for Real Madrid in the first half was Diego Simeone's ejection, for tirelessly whining and for patting the refs head.

James quickly became Real's most effective weapon. After a header that went wide, the Colombian assisted Bale who took a shot just inside the box but, like the James' header, it went just wide to the right. After two dangerous plays by Raúl García, and right before halftime, James once again delivered a good chance with a fantastic shot from outside the box that almost found the net. That was it for the first half.

Carlo Ancelotti decided to make a substitution to start the second half, as Cristiano Ronaldo replaced Toni Kroos.

Just like it happened in the first half, Real Madrid had a really poor start again. On a free kick (yeah, again) by Koke, Raúl García was able to shoot the ball near the penalty spot but hit the crossbar and the rebound didn't go in. It's amazing how easy it is to hurt Real Madrid on set pieces.

Even without Simeone on the bench, Atlético looked better than their city rivals. The counter attack now was a big weapon for them, especially since Real's players were easily losing the ball on Atleti's territory. Raúl García was still creating danger for his team, taking shots every time he had the chance to. Los Merengues looked lost out there. Overwhelmed, even.

Ronaldo started to show up near the 60th minute. First, with a great cross deflected by Godín and then with a good shot from outside the box that Moyá caught without trouble. The ref wasn't helping, as he unbelievable missed a clear foul on Bale after he got past at least three defenders.

Atlético was really close to killing Real Madrid with Real's best weapon: the counter attack. Ancelotti tried to give some more balance to the team by replacing James with Isco at the 65th minute. Five minutes later, it was Marcelo for Coentrao.

As time went by, maybe a lot of Madridistas started feeling a bit lucky Atleti's lead wasn't bigger. On the pitch, the players' frustration was pretty evident, while Atlético de Madrid enjoyed their best moments. Koke had a fantastic long shot that went just above the crossbar and then, after a terrible turnover by Ramos, Antoine Griezmann wasted a great chance inside the box with a pretty weak shot.

More impressive than Simeone's tactical order was Real Madrid's lack of creativity towards the end of the game. The seemingly massive amount of turnovers was just as bad and it involved everyone out there. Even basic concepts like short passes were not working for los Blancos. It just didn't feel like Ancelotti's men were going to find the goal. The best chance came in a cross by Carvajal that Ramos couldn't reach. And so, Real's dream of tying the game were over.

The game was a mess for Real Madrid. Carlo's lineup and even the substitutions (Cristiano looked like he wasn't ready to play) will be heavily criticized and with good reason. Then again, it's easy to bash the coach after a loss. And of course, a lot of people will argue Di María would've changed the outcome of the game. Maybe, maybe not. He decided to leave, so blame him for that.

It was only a minor trophy and it was only a game, but losing this way, completely overwhelmed by Atlético de Madrid, is a terrible way to start the season. Good thing is there's time to fix this, so there's no reason to jump off a cliff. Let's just hope the future is saving better things for Real Madrid.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Managing Madrid Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Real Madrid news from Managing Madrid