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Real Madrid claim Supercup

A nine-man Real Madrid rallied to beat Valencia 4-2 and lift the Spanish Supercup 6-5 on aggregate on Sunday. Ruud van Nistelrooy, Sergio Ramos, Ruben De La Red and Gonzalo Higuain scored for Madrid, which had midfielder Rafael van der Vaart ejected in the 39th minute and striker Ruud van Nistelrooy in the 73rd.

Valencia’s David Silva opened the scoring, with Fernando Morientes completing a late goal rush at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

It was the eighth time Madrid won the trophy — contested annually by the league champion and Copa del Rey winner — and the first since 2003.

The result represented a disappointing start to the new season for Valencia’s recently appointed coach Unai Emery.

The kickoff was preceded by a minute’s silence as a mark of respect for those who died in Wednesday’s deadly airplane crash in Madrid.

Spain’s worst air disaster in 25 years took the lives of 154 people — including the mother of Madrid junior Martin Kozhuharov and the daughter of former FC Barcelona forward Juan Carlos Perez Rojo.

Madrid sported black armbands, while Valencia — wearing black shirts — wore white ones.

Playing its first game in the capital since winning the Copa del Rey final in April, Valencia’s 3-2 first-leg advantage was barely threatened by a lackluster Madrid in the first half.

The visitors increased their overall lead in the 33rd minute when Silva culminated a slick passing move with a low shot from just outside the area which left Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas rooted to the spot.

Madrid’s problems quickly worsened when van der Vaart was sent off for a studs-high tackle on Valencia midfielder Juanma Mata. Van der Vaart was making his home debut for Madrid, which he joined from Hamburg this month.

Madrid and referee Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez were whistled and jeered by home supporters as they left the field at halftime.

However, Madrid received the chance to equalize when Valencia defender Raul Albiol handled van Nistelrooy’s goalbound header. The Dutch striker’s successful spot-kick brought his tally from both legs to three goals.

Madrid’s hopes were then dealt another big blow through van Nistelrooy’s dismissal after he received his yellow card for a foul on Valencia captain Ruben Baraja.

Yet the Spanish league champion responded with three goals in 12 minutes.

Ramos gave Madrid the overall lead in the 77th by firing home from close range after Mahamadou Diarra’s header from Arjen Robben’s corner rebounded off the bar.

Substitute De La Red added Madrid’s third goal in the 86th with a spectacular long-range chip which caught Valencia goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand off his goalline.

Another substitute, Higuain, then took advantage of Valencia defender Alexis Ruano’s misplaced back pass to score the fourth goal in the 89th.

Valencia substitute Fernando Morientes — a former Madrid striker — reduced the home team’s lead in injury time after slotting home Vicente Rodriguez’s through ball.

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