Match report for the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup for World Football Weekly
The pumped-up Vicente Calderon crowd only had to wait 90 seconds before they saw their team go into the lead. Moya’s long ball was won in the air by Mandzukic, who nodded onto Griezmann, the Frenchman returned the favour, finding Mandzukic with his knock down. The Croat beat Varane to the ball before firing his low shot beyond Casillas’ outstretched arm into the bottom left-hand corner.
As the game settled down after the frantic start, Madrid had most of the ball, but rarely troubled Moya in goal in the early stages. It took Los Blancos until the 25th minute to make any sort of attacking impact on the game. The first chance came from a good move down their right-hand side. Right-back Dani Carvajal linked up with James Rodriguez, and the Colombian cut inside before forcing Moya into a one-handed save.
That was just the start of a good period of Madrid pressure as they looked to equalise. It was Rodriguez who came close again; he could only see his header from Modric’s floated cross go inches past Moya’s left-hand post.
The £70 million man was at the heart the attacks. It was more good movement at passing from Ancelotti’s side. Alonso picked out Rodriguez who had come off the left and found himself in the inside-left channel, his curling shot looked like it was heading towards the top corner, but at the last minute went inches past yet again.
After that spell of pressure, Atleti almost doubled their lead. Raul Garcia connected with a header just a few yards from goal from a corner from the right, but could only head over.
Atleti came out for the second period in the same fashion as the first. Ancelotti’s men had the combination of the underside of the crossbar, and a one-handed Iker Casillas save to thank for keeping the score at 1-0. Modric fouled Siqueira. The resulting free-kick was whipped in; Raul Garcia’s header crashed off the underside of the bar and bounced on the line. As Mandzukic was ready to knock home a second, Iker Casillas somehow managed to paw the ball to safety.
That was just a sign of things to come as Los Rojiblancos dominated the rest of the game. Dani Carvajal had to make a goal-saving tackle not long after. Atleti broke down the left; Griezmann fed Garcia, but before he could get his shot away, Carvajal was on hand to make the vital tackle.
Garcia was causing the defence trouble all night, but the goal he wanted eluded him. Gabi switched the play out to the right for Juanfran. The right-back beat Coentrao before cutting the ball back to the edge of the box. Garcia’s curling effort just flashed past Casillas’ post.
From that goal kick, Sergio Ramos’ lapse in concentration almost cost his side the match. He was dispossessed by Raul Garcia, who found Griezmann but his tired-looking effort went wide.
Madrid threw on Isco in search of that equalising goal, but it was to no use. The only effort they had in the last 10 minutes was a poor, scuffed shot from Gareth Bale, who had a disappointing night overall.
As time ticked down midway into the four minutes of injury time, Madrid’s frustration was evident. Luka Modric was shown a second-yellow card for a late challenge on Cristian Rodriguez.
As the final whistle blew, the Atleti bench rushed onto the pitch in celebration while their counterparts walked off, heads bowed. It could well be the case of Atletico putting down a marker for the start of the league season this weekend.
ATLETICO: Moya; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Siqueira; Tiago, Gabi; Koke, Raul Garcia (Saul 90’), Griezmann (Raul Jimenez 73’), Mandzukic (C.Rodriguez 85’).
Goals: Mandzukic 2’
Bookings: Tiago 18’ Koke 51’ Greizmann 68’ Raul Garcia 74’
REAL MADRID: Casillas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Coentrao (Marcelo 70’); Modric, Kroos (Ronaldo 46’), Xabi Alonso; J.Rodriguez (Isco 65’), Benzema, Bale.
Bookings: Modric 48’, 90’ Xabi Alonso 52’ Isco 78’ Sergio Ramos 89’ Ronaldo 90’
Red Cards: Modric 90’
Original article can be viewed here: World Football Weekly