Real Madrid will return from Saudi Arabi as Super Cup Champions. A feat that was achieved in 2020, prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, and now a feat that has been replicated in 2022. Athletic Bilbao sat deep and looked to punish Real Madrid on the counter, but goals from Luka Modric and Karim Benzema forced the Basque’s to change course. Inaki Williams, Oihen Sancet, and Raul Garcia had no luck breaking through a resolute Real Madrid defense. Despite a late red card to Militao, and a resulting penalty kick, Madrid managed to keep the clean sheet thanks to an inspired Thibaut Courtois kick save.
Full match player ratings below:
Thibaut Courtois—8.5: The big Belgian’s season only gets better and better. Produced an incredible penalty kick save with an outstretched leg to deny Athletic any chance of coming back into the game.
Lucas Vazquez—7: Difficult task marking Muniain,who is not a traditional winger. The Athletic captain drifts centrally into pockets of space, but the Vazquez- Modric- Rodrygo trio did a great job of cover shadowing and passing the mark on rather than breaking the team’s shape by man-marking.
Eder Militao—8: Always a fun battle between Inaki Williams and Militao. The Brazilian gives Williams no room to breathe and can match his speed step for step in a break away. Was sent off late in the match for a handball inside the box.
David Alaba—7: Looked a step slower likely due to the quick recovery from his muscle injury, but his understanding of the game allowed the Austrian to make more than one clutch sliding tackle to avoid a foot race.
Ferland Mendy—8: Berenguer had no chance 1 v 1 vs Mendy who controlled his left flank with ease. Marcelino put Nico Williams on at halftime to try and create some chaos, but Mendy was never challenged.
Casemiro—7: Athletic gave Casemiro the freedom to play and his distribution from the back was good. Had a team high of 4 clearances.
Luka Modric—9: Ageless, simply ageless. Forget the well taken goal, Modric put in a tremendous amount of work in midfield to provide balance defensively and to deny passing lanes.
Toni Kroos—8: Another routine performance from the German. Had a few mishaps with Ferland Mendy, but was otherwise foot perfect with 119 touches, 95/100 passes, 9 recoveries, and 3 key passes.
Rodrygo—7.5: Another Super Cup game, and another assist. Rodrygo’s ability to run at defenders with speed and force them into decisions opened up the passing lane for Modric’s goal.
Vinicius Junior—6.5: A quieter game given the Brazilian’s new lofty standards, but defensively was immense. Had 3 tackles in the second half and the few times he did go 1 v 1 vs Demarcos he was successful.
Karim Benzema—6.5: Scored the second goal of the game with an inch perfect penalty. It was Benzema’s shot that deflected for a handball and earned the penalty decision. Like Vinicius, put in a lot of defensive work but did not have the same impact offensively.
Fede Valverde—6: Replaced Rodrygo Goes on the right wing and provided fresh legs on the flank. Was a willing runner and had a few nice flicks and passing sequences with Kroos and Modric.
Marcelo—N/A: Replaced Vinicius Junior and provided additional support for Mendy in the final 5 minutes of the match. Has now accumulated 23 trophies with Real Madrid — matching the great Paco Gento.
Nacho—N/A: Replaced Lucas Vazquez for the final minutes of the match to help shore up the back line.