Real top Bilbao to claim Super Copa title

Published January 18, 2022
REAL Madrid players celebrate after winning the final of the Super Copa de Espana at the King Fahd International Stadium.—AFP
REAL Madrid players celebrate after winning the final of the Super Copa de Espana at the King Fahd International Stadium.—AFP

RIYADH: Real Madrid won’t be going a second consecutive season without a title.

After failing to lift a trophy under Zinedine Zidane last season, Carlo Ancelotti’s Real secured the Super Copa de Espana with a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday in Saudi Arabia.

Luka Modric and Karim Benzema scored a goal in each half of the final as Real comfortably defeated the defending champions to reinforce their status as the top team in Spain this season.

Real have already beaten Barcelona twice, including in the Super Copa semi-finals, and Atletico Madrid once, and are more than 15 points ahead of both rivals halfway through the La Liga season. Ancelotti has also led Real to the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Real went without a trophy for the first time in more than a decade last season under Zidane.

It’s an impulse, an impulse to keep going,” said Ancelotti.“We don’t have much time to think because another competition is coming.”

Real’s 12th Super Cup title moves the club only one behind Barca, the competition’s most successful team. Bilbao were seeking their fourth Super Cup trophy.

Real took the lead in the 38th minute after Rodrygo sprinted past two defenders before passing to Modric, who rifled a shot into the back of the net.

Benzema extended their lead in the second half with a penalty after the video assistant referee spotted a handball from Yeray Alvarez inside the area.

Real were reduced to 10 men three minutes from time after Eder Militao was sent off for a goalline handball.

Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois brilliantly stopped Raul Garcia’s penalty kick with his left foot in the dying seconds.

You can never get tired of winning,” Modric told a news conference. I enjoy the same every title, when you play at Real Madrid you have to win. It’s part of the DNA of this club. Fans expect the most of you. So now we have to look forward to win more and again in the next months.”

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2022

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