Real Madrid 2-0 Eintracht Frankfurt (Alaba & Benzema). Victory in Helsinki. Here is the immediate reaction to the SuperCup victory. On the way: press conference and celebration highlights, player ratings and the ManagingMadrid podcast.
The first competitive game of the season is upon us, along with the chance to lift another trophy to add to the cabinet. Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt were the opposition, who possessed plenty of firepower of their own. For this reason, Madrid were always going to start strong - and chose to add Fede Valverde to the front three, a tactic which worked a trick throughout the victorious Champions League campaign last season. There were no official debuts from start, but Antonio Rüdiger and Aurélien Tchouaméni were included on the bench. Eden Hazard took a seat alongside them, and for the first time in a while was joined by no Castilla players. Karim Benzema captained the team for the first time as the main captain.
There was a more structured style of play present in comparison to what we had previously seen during the summer friendlies. The quality was high as both teams were intent on winning, but it was Frankfurt who created the first chances. Thibaut Courtois looked like he had taken no breaks at all since the Champions League final - saving an effort from an offside player, before making an even better stop one on one minutes later. Madrid then forged a big chance of their own, when Vinícius Júnior had his shot blocked away off of the line. The Brazilian then forced a really good low save from the opposition keeper. This triggered a string of dominance from Los Blancos, who took the lead when a corner came in, and was expertly taken down via Casemiro’s head into the path of David Alaba to score an open goal. The move and finish were tidy ones. Madrid really took control at this point, and could have made it two if not for the half time whistle coming at just the right moment for the Germans.
The game was still open at 1-0, and depending on the reaction from Frankfurt - Madrid could have had a tough half ahead. They continued to ooze confidence however, and remained on top of the play throughout the second half. The majority of the chances flashed by quickly however, as Vinícius Júnior and Casemiro came reasonably close. Frankfurt had one half chance, but Courtois held the ball well. Madrid were rewarded for their play when Vinícius broke away and picked out Karim Benzema. The captain struck the ball first time, but it wasn’t exactly a good effort. Nonetheless, the goalkeeper reacted very slowly to it, and it snuck in just past him for two. Both Aurélien Tchouaméni and Antonio Rüdiger were brought on late on to make their Real Madrid debuts, but the game was effectively already won at this point. The full time whistle blew to confirm Real Madrid will lift their fifth UEFA SuperCup trophy. A great start to the season! What did you think about the line-up selection and the performance?