Real Madrid 1-1 Valencia (4-3 on penalties) (Benzema). Another final for Los Blancos. Here is my reaction to the long-winded match. Coming up: Player ratings, post game quotes and a podcast with myself and Kiyan.
Every trophy means something for Real Madrid, and the Spanish SuperCup seems to be something they have been competing in since the dawn of time. Since its restructure to incorporate four teams and a host country, it has shifted from a season opener to a mid-season test. Madrid were to face Copa del Rey finalists Valencia at the semi-final stage in Saudi Arabia, with the winner qualifying straight for the final against either Barcelona or Real Betis. The line-up was filled with the usual culprits, with Nacho Fernández starting at full-back, and Eduardo Camavinga getting his place in midfield. Mariano Díaz returned to the bench from injury, and was joined by the likes of Luka Modrić and Eden Hazard. Karim Benzema captained the side.
Even when Real Madrid won the competition, this game always had a peculiar pre-season type feel to it - and now players were still overcoming the recent World Cup in Qatar, it really had a strange tone to it. Karim Benzema had the first real chance of the game when his shot went just wide (to which Fede Valverde missed the rebound), but prior to that it was a game of fouls and mistakes. Thibaut Courtois then pulled off a great save from an Edison Cavani header. It wasn’t until Vinícius Júnior went on a mazy run that we would see another chance, as the Valencia keeper was equal to his eventual effort towards goal. Real Madrid won a penalty when a defender kicked Benzema, and it was Karim who stepped up to take it and score the opener. This was enough to take Real Madrid through to half time being 1-0 up.
I had an alert from an app that Real Madrid had conceded before my stream had even begun for the second half. I was envisioning a long hoof from the half-way line somehow lobbing Courtois, but in reality it was a decent goal that caught Madrid off guard. The ball went out wide, a world class cross came in and Samuel Lino was quickest to the ball to volley home from close range. All of that in 22 seconds before Real Madrid had even switched back on. This start did not mean we were in for an action packed second half. It still had that friendly feel to it, and it seemed like the pitch was so big it was swallowing the players up. Very few passing sequences were completed, chances were scarce and players did not look that interested in the proceedings. Benzema tried to get things going again for his side, but couldn't beat the keeper with his effort. Nacho Fernández then came close from a set piece with his header, but again no joy. Madrid started to look really comfortable in possession, and Benzema could have finished off a lovely move if his header hadn’t flown over. With seven minutes added on, Vinícius could have put the game to bed when the ball fell to him in the box, but he could only shoot low and into the keeper. A late long shot from Fede Valverde needed saving, but the keeper holding onto it brought an end to the play.
this is the only time I vote for a penalty shoutout right after 90 mins instead of extra time— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) January 11, 2023
1-1 meant that the game would go extra time - meaning that we had to endure another half an hour of this semi-final. Vinícius Júnior forced a brilliant save from the goalkeeper to keep things level early on, before Valencia missed a chance moments later. This created some promise for a better extra-time period. This hope died down however when the only other chances of the half came from a Toni Kroos rocket and Nacho curler over the bar at the end of the half. Courtois made a good save in the second half to ensure there would be no upset in extra time - but penalties did loom after the game finished at 1-1.
The penalty shoot-out panned out as follows:
Karim Benzema✅ - Edinson Cavani✅
Luka Modrić✅ - Eray Cömert❌
Toni Kroos✅ - Ilaix Moriba✅
Marco Asensio✅ - Hugo Guillamón✅
❔ - José Luis Gayà❌
Real Madrid won 4-3 on penalties and advance into the Spanish SuperCup final! Happy with another final, Madridistas?