Football: Atletico win Spanish Super Cup

posted in: News | 0

Atletico Madrid prevailed in the Spanish Super Cup as Mario Mandzukic’s goal sealed a 1-0 victory at the Vicente Calderon.
Following a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Atletico shaded a tight game on home soil to ensure there was no repeat of Real’s success in the UEFA Champions League final at the end of last season.
Copa del Rey winners Real made three changes to their line-up from the first leg, bringing in James Rodriguez following his goal off the substitutes’ bench at the Bernabeu, but it was another summer signing who made the early breakthrough as Mandzukic fired La Liga champions Atletico in front after just two minutes.
It came from a long ball from goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya and Real’s defence switched off as Antoine Griezmann flicked it on, giving Croatian striker Mandzukic the chance to strike a crisp finish past Iker Casillas.
Atletico continued to play brightly for ten or 15 minutes but Real then got into their stride and Rodriguez was denied an equaliser midway through the first half when he latched on to a good pass from Dani Carvajal but his shot from a tight angle was well saved by Moya.
Diego Simeone became frustrated on the touchline and was sent to the stands for remonstrating with the officials a few minutes later, as Real continued to dominate possession.
Rodriguez lost his marker to head a Luka Modric cross wide but the Colombian caught the eye with some exquisite touches and played in Gareth Bale, who shot narrowly wide following a flowing move.
Raul Garcia forced a decent save from Casillas from long range and then spurned a chance to double Atletico’s lead from the corner as he headed over, before Rodriguez curled an effort just off target at the other end in the dying second of the first half.
Carlo Ancelotti decided to bring on Cristiano Ronaldo for Toni Kroos at the interval, but it was Atletico who started the second half stronger as they had in the first.
Garcia again went close to adding a second for the home side when he hooked a wonderful first-time volley against the underside of the crossbar from Koke’s free-kick, before Casillas did well to claw the ball to safety.
Carvajal also had to step in with an important interception and Garcia shot wide as Atletico applied more pressure, while at the back they remained solid to stifle the threat of any Real counter-attacks.
Ronaldo tested Moya with a dipping shot from distance but Rodriguez struggled to exert the same influence as he had before the break and was replaced by Isco for the closing stages.
Bale was also quiet and could only drag a volley wide late on, before Modric was sent off for a second bookable in stoppage-time as the match finished in scrappy fashion.
Atletico duly held on to secure the first silverware of the Spanish domestic season and remind Real and Barcelona that they are fully capable of defending their Primera Liga title. 

Previous Chapter
Next Chapter

Leave a Reply