Spanish top-flight football and European club football giants Real Madrid are set to take on their archrivals Atlético Madrid three times over the course of the next month, once each in the Supercopa de España Semifinal, the Copa del Rey Round of 16 as well as the Spanish La Liga. Just yesterday, Los Blancos managed to beat their nemeses in their first of three matches against Atlético, winning the Supercopa de España Semifinal at Al-Awwal Stadium, Saudi Arabia with a score line of 5-3 after the full 120 minutes plus added time.
An Eight-Goal Thriller in the Supercopa de España Semifinal
This Supercopa de España Semifinal clash between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid was the 234th El Derbi Madrileño between two traditional juggernauts in the Spanish top-tiered football league system, and Los Blancos were leading the all-time head-to-head record with 115 wins as compared to Atlético’s 58 victories.
Both Madrid sides traded blows to take the lead in turns on the neutral soil of Al-Awwal Stadium, with Mario Hermoso opening the score sheet for Atlético in the sixth minute, when he headed the ball into the back of the net during a corner set piece delivery. Real would go on to equalise in this Supercopa de España Semifinal, via a corner of their own which was converted by another no. 22 player Antonio Rüdiger. With momentum gained, Carlo Ancelotti’s Real took the lead nine minutes after their equaliser, following Ferland Mendy’s slightest of touch off Dani Carvajal’s cross.
Diego Simeone’s men were not satisfied to leave the opening 45 minutes down 2-1, and their efforts in levelling things up soon bore fruits. Vice captain of the France national team Antoine Griezmann, who was tied with Luis Aragonés as the joint-top scorer in the history of Atlético Madrid, produced his sheer moments of brilliance to become the all-time leading scorer of the club. The 32-year-old Frenchman beat three Real players, followed by an amazing shot just outside the penalty box that edged past Kepa Arrizabalaga at the bottom left corner.
Real Win the 234th El Derbi Madrileño
More dramas were unfolded in the second half and the extra time period of this Supercopa de España Semifinal clash. Rüdiger, the former Chelsea man who made things all square again for Real earlier in the game, was forced to commit an own goal with 12 minutes remaining on the clock when he could not get out of the way during a parried ball by Kepa, seeing his move ended in his own net in despair. Fortunately to the German defender, his backline teammate Carvajal was the quickest to react during a chaotic situation inside the dangerous zone of Atlético Madrid by lashing a thunderous shot to the top left corner, sending the game to extra time.
Going into the extended period of this Supercopa de España Semifinal, Real were clearly the better side, and they killed the game with two more goals during the closing stages, thanks to two replacements Joselu and Brahim Díaz. Carvajal was again involved in a Los Blancos attack, and the Spanish right-back found Joselu with an inch-perfect delivery, followed by the veteran striker’s bouncing header that crept past Jan Oblak.
The Slovenian captain and goalkeeper was again helpless when Díaz sealed the victory for the team in all white jerseys. The 24-year-old Spanish international showed his tremendous burst of speed when Joselu cleared the ball away from Atlético’s all-out effort, beating the out-of-position Oblak and placing an accurate strike into the net to lead Real emerge victorious in the first game of the Supercopa de España Finals in 2023/2024.
🇪🇸 | Real Madrid 5–3 Atlético Madrid
• Possession: 57% – 43%
• Shots (on target): 22 (10) – 11 (6)
• Big chances: 6 – 0
• Touches in opp. box: 55 – 16
— Sofascore (@SofascoreINT) January 10, 2024
Ancelotti on the Comeback Victory: “It’s Pure Real Madrid DNA.”
Real Madrid head coach Ancelotti cited his players’ tenacity in winning the tough Supercopa de España matchup. “It’s nothing new, it’s pure Real Madrid DNA. Let it be a good learning experience for the youngsters: this team never gives up. You can lose, but never give up. Atleti today played very well, they made us suffer with our high pressing, because they had great players and they came out. They handle the leather well and that makes them dangerous. They are organised… they have everything. These matches are always very difficult. I think you have to be calm, because the match had a lot of emotions… but there are still 90 minutes left to win the title, our goal.”
The Italian also spoke about the effectiveness of his substitutions and gave his opinion on the boos Kroos suffered during the Supercopa de España Semifinal. “It gives me a lot of confidence, because those who came on won us the game. Joselu, Brahim, Ceballos. It gives a coach a lot of confidence that the whole squad is motivated. That’s the only way to win this type of match. I don’t understand the booing and I don’t think Kroos does either. I really don’t understand them. Regarding the decision, Toni has arrived with a discomfort and I preferred to put in a fresher player. The truth is that these are very complicated decisions, very complicated,” said Ancelotti.
The head coach of Los Blancos can now set his sights on the Supercopa de España Final, where his Real Madrid side will be facing winners of the other Semifinal clash between Barcelona and CA Osasuna. Ancelotti stated: “There are four days left, but the wear and tear has been terrible. It was very hard. The match was back and forth, very competitive, with two teams fighting a lot. We won because we were more energetic at the end.”