Real Madrid 2-0 Athletic Bilbao (Modrić & Benzema). Here is the immediate reaction to the SuperCup triumph. Coming up: press conference highlights, player ratings and the ManagingMadrid champions podcast.
The first chance at grasping some silverware was upon Real Madrid as they made the Spanish SuperCup final against Athletic Bilbao in Saudi Arabia, overcoming Barcelona along the way. David Alaba, Rodrygo Goes and Lucas Vázquez would enter the line-up for the final after Dani Carvajal and Marco Asensio were ruled out with COVID and injuries. Eden Hazard and match winner Fede Valverde took a seat on the bench. Karim Benzema captained the team for the final as Real Madrid looked to lift their 12th SuperCup.
The play was moderate during the first half, with both teams looking to counter after an attack, but neither creating anything incisive. Bilbao could have had a penalty after ten minutes when the ball made contact with Alaba’s arm after he went down for a challenge. Benzema shot wide after finding space outside of the area, and Casemiro then tested the keeper as Madrid looked to gain the lead. The first goal would come from a wonderful Luka Modrić effort which looped past the keeper first time. Bilbao’s best chance came right at the end of the half when Oihan Sancet shot just over the bar after wriggling through two defenders.
At 36 years and 129 days old, Luka Modrić is the oldest player in Supercopa history to score in the competition.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 16, 2022
He'll keep playing forever. pic.twitter.com/reWNAkq48g
The second half started excellently from Real Madrid’s point of view. They were given a penalty from the referee after Yeray blocked a Benzema shot with his hands. It seemed perhaps slightly harsh from such close range, when considering the shot from Benzema looked unlikely to hit the target, but the Frenchman made no mistake when converting from 12 yards to make it 2-0. Even with it all left to do for Bilbao, the pacing of the game remained slow and in Madrid’s control. Fede Valverde came on in place of Rodrygo to cement that control. The Basque side began to fight back when Nico Serrano popped the ball straight into the hands of Thibaut Courtois. Marcelo was brought on late to confirm yet another honour to add to his now record breaking list. Just as this happened, Raúl García headed into the hands of Éder Militão, winning Bilbao a penalty, with Éder being sent off for his troubles. Courtois produced an amazing save with his foot whilst diving to deny García from the spot. This all but confirmed the victory for 10-man Madrid within just minutes to go now. After four minutes of added time, the referee put a stop to the game and the celebrations began for Real Madrid! What did you think of the cup triumph?