Real Madrid 5-3 Atlético Madrid (Rüdiger, Mendy, Carvajal, Joselu Mato & Brahim Díaz). A game full of goals. Here the immediate reaction. On your way: The player ratings, post game q&a’s and a SuperCup podcast.
I had almost forgotten the pointless change made to the SuperCup a couple of years ago, making it a mid-season competition consisting of four teams half way around the world. Still, a game against Atlético Madrid was always worth winning. The line-up reflected that, with all the usual's taking to the field to try and make another final. Arda Güler was on the bench once more, being joined by some talented company. Eduardo Camavinga was in the squad despite some injury worries from the last game. Nacho Fernández captained the team in the derby.
There must have been plenty of frustration built up on the long plane journey over to Saudi Arabia, because the first half was full of intensity. The first chance fell to Samuel Lino who forced Kepa Arrizabalaga to leap up and make a great save. The resulting corner did lead to a goal however, as Mario Hermoso, one of the best Castilla graduates in recent times, aimed his header perfectly into the corner. Rodrygo Goes tried to respond and was surely brought down inside of the area, but the referee was having none of it. Álvaro Morata could have continued the Castilla curse, but fortunately shot wide. Then, just like that - Real Madrid were back in it. A very similar goal to the first one, Antonio Rüdiger found himself free in the box to level things up. Rodrygo tried to get his side ahead with another chance, but Jan Oblak was equal to it. Things took a turn for the better when Ferland Mendy of all people produced a wonderful stabbed finish to make it 2-1. The action wasn’t done yet though, as Antoine Griezmann scored the best goal of the half to charge forward and smash the ball home from distance. Rodrygo had a chance to make it a positive result at half time but again missed. 2-2 at half time.
Antonio Rudiger has been exceptional for Real Madrid this season. Didn't see this coming after the issues he had during his first few months in the club.— Lucas Navarrete (@LucasNavarreteM) January 10, 2024
He's established himself.
The second half showed no signs of slowing down as Lino again had the first chance, but missed the target from close range. Dani Carvajal had some time in a decent position, but naturally lacked that forwards touch to hit the net. It seemed the goals had dried up, but then Atlético Madrid sneaked into the lead after a disastrous play involving Rüdiger and Kepa saw the ball rebound into their own net. That could have been that, but never for Real Madrid. After a sequence involving multiple forward straight passes, Vinícius Júnior made a Gareth Bale-esque run towards goal, just lacking the Welshman’s finish. The ball fell to Jude Bellingham who had two chances to finish himself, the second one being cleared off of the line. The ball fell straight to Carvajal, who made no mistake in finding the top corner to save the day for Los Blancos. Substitute Brahim Díaz had the last chance of the 90 minutes and could have won it after a superb run, but his shot just flew wide. Full time, 3-3 - and what a game!
Real Madrid travelled 7+7 hours to and from Saudi Arabia to end the Kepa-Lunin debate. Bit extreme but ok.— Mehedi Hassan (@MHassanFootball) January 10, 2024
The semi-final of the SuperCup for some unknown reason just had to go to extra-time rather than having the logical idea of an immediate shoot-out, but at least the game was good enough to endure another 30 minutes... You’d think. After a waste of fifteen minutes, Real Madrid were left with one mini half to prevent penalties. This last quarter would be better, and Madrid would push forward to try and book another final in. They would take the lead late on when a Carvajal cross found the head of Joselu Mato. With the help of a deflection, the ball bounced over Oblak in slow motion to the jubilation of the Real Madrid players. They were not finished yet, as Oblak desperately came up for a corner and left his goal empty. After a hilarious foot race back, in which the rival goalkeeper looked as fast as my great grandfather, Brahim Díaz nipped ahead to pass into the lonely goal from distance. 5-3, and Real Madrid make another SuperCup final. How did you find the game?