Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao to Win Spanish Super Cup In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, after a goal from Karim Benzema and Man-of-The-Match Luca Modric.
Los Blancos just needed to climb out of third gear to dismantle the Lions, thanks to goals from Luka Modric and Karim Benzema.
Carlo Ancelotti can be delighted with the performance of two of his ‘golden oldies,’ as 34-year-old Benzema and 36-year-old Modric came up with the goods to bring the trophy back to the Spanish capital in a game when he was seeking to win his first trophy back in his second term as Madrid manager.
The first goal was classic Real: a drive and cunning attack down the right flank, with Modric feeding Rodrygo, who slipped it back into the path of the Croat, who bent home inside the near post.
Before halftime, the lead could have been extended. Casemiro had two chances to test Athletic goalkeeper Unai Simon, the first a near-post drive and the second a header from the resultant corner, but the Spain number one was equal to both.
Iker Muniain and Inaki Williams tried everything they could to get Marcelino’s side back into the game, but they simply couldn’t match the quality on display from their opponents. The game was decided only seven minutes into the second half, when Yeray was unfortunate enough to be accused of handballing a scuffed Benzema effort, and VAR awarded a dubious penalty.
Benzema got back on his feet and finished strong, but Simon grabbed a piece of it and couldn’t keep it out, much to his chagrin.
After a flurry of substitutions from Bilbao’s manager on the hour, the Basque side’s press and on-the-ball play improved, and Raul Garcia was the culprit, snatching at two great chances to get the Basque side back into the game as Real’s defense was at sixes and sevens.
A penalty was granted after Eder Militao’s handball was assessed to have prevented the ball from crossing the line following a Raul Garcia header from a Yuri Berchiche cross, and the Brazilian defender was controversially ejected for an intentional handball.
Garcia was quickly stopped by Thibaut Courtois, the Belgian’s trailing leg blocking a weak penalty down the centre to round out Bilbao’s night.
Real played confidently and professionally, controlling the speed and patterns of play through their experienced engine room, and they still posed a threat in the back with Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo’s deadly pace down the flanks.
Luka Modric Named Man Of The Match
Croatia’s skipper put up an outstanding performance. On the ball, he remained calm and composed, vigilant and aware in the transitional phases as his inch-perfect vision created countless opportunities for the Basque defense, but the result remained unchanged after two.
Watch Modric’s Goal Below
It didn’t matter: he was allowed much too much space and time to orchestrate play and establish himself as the midfield general, with the freedom to wander farther forwards thanks to Casemiro and Toni Kroos’ defensive positional discipline. A strong performance from a player still at the peak of his game.