Atlético Madrid romped in extra time to complete a comeback win over their city rivals in Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup.
Real Madrid took a 2-1 lead after Sergio Ramos scored in yet another final against Atlético, but Diego Simeone’s men (coached by Mono Burgos) dragged the match to an extra 30 minutes after Diego Costa completed his brace with 11 minutes on the clock. Koke and Saúl Ñíguez then put the game to bed — with the latter scoring an absolutely astonishing volley to snag back the lead — as Atleti will fly back from Tallinn’s 15,000-seat A. Le Coq Arena having beaten Madrid in a European final for the first time.
Atlético had the game’s first goal inside its first minute. Costa — who infamously lasted just eight minutes in the 2014 Champions League final — latched onto a long ball, headed it down for himself and bulldozed into the box before he hit a sweet shot past Keylor Navas. The Costa Rican should have been able to make a stop from a tight angle, but Costa put enough power on the ball so that it would nestle comfortably into the net.
It was a stunning start, but Atlético could not capitalize further on their early aggressiveness. Their low block handled Real Madrid’s patient build up play while Lucas Hernández shut down Gareth Bale and Dani Carvajal on the right side. However, Madrid were able to find space on the counterattack — out Atleti-ing Atleti, if you will — and it was a galloping Bale who crossed to Karim Benzema in the 27th minute for the equalizer. The Frenchman’s header was past Jan Oblak before Stefan Savić could react.
Los colchoneros resumed attacking after Benzema scored, and this period saw Thomas Lemar begin to shoulder much of Atlético’s load in attack. The club’s record signing sprayed passes all around and exhibited great close control to create just that extra yard of space he needed. With Griezmann not yet back to full fitness, his France teammate took up primary playmaking duties and helped Atleti’s attack flow.
By halftime, the mattress makers looked more comfortable and capable on the ball, and that continued into the second half even as they couldn’t create clear chances. But five minutes after Griezmann was substituted and Luka Modrić entered, Juanfran gave away a penalty — an accidental handball that deflected off his head while he tried to defend a corner. Ramos stepped up and slotted home the spot kick with ease to hand los blancos their only lead.
Burgos and co. were not fazed, though — they had seen this story play out too many times before to let it end in the same way. They found an equalizer of their own on 79 minutes — mostly through raw determination. Juanfran redeemed himself by beating Marcelo to a ball that was going out of play. He then slid it back into the box for Correa, and the Argentine squared for Costa to blast into the roof of the net.
Real Madrid probed a bit more, but did not threaten Oblak and the match moved to extra time — the fourth straight final in which these two needed an additional 30 minutes. And in those final 30 minutes, the fresher team cruised to victory.
In the 98th minute, Thomas Partey pressed up on a tired Raphaël Varane and won the ball. As he sprinted to his left, Saúl drifted into the box and took up his fellow academy graduate’s cross. Before Navas could blink, Saúl had lashed a vicious left-footed volley behind him to restore los rojiblancos’ lead.
Six minutes later, Costa led a counterattack from the left hand side and reversed the ball to Vitolo in the box. The ex-Sevilla winger then lifted a gorgeous weighted pass across the box to an on-rushing Koke, who essentially passed the ball into the net to seal the Super Cup for Atlético.
In the final 15 minutes, Madrid were reduced to crosses into the box that Diego Godín and co. handled without much issue. Godín’s 10 clearances led all players, and his first official match as club captain ended with him lifting his second trophy in three months.
Real Madrid XI: Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Casemiro (Ceballos 76’), Kroos (Mayoral 102’), Isco (Lucas Vázquez 83’); Bale, Benzema, Asensio (Modrić 57’).
Goals: Benzema 27’, Ramos 63’ (pen)
Atlético XI: Oblak; Juanfran, Savić, Godín, Lucas; Rodri (Vitolo 71’), Saúl, Lemar (Partey 90’), Koke; Griezmann (Correa 57’), Costa (Giménez 108’).
Goals: Costa 1’ 79’, Saúl 98, Koke 104’