Atletico Madrid gained some measure of revenge for their UEFA Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid by beating their city rivals 1-0 at the Vicente Calderon on Friday to win the Spanish Super Cup 2-1 on aggregate. The hosts made the best possible start as Mario Mandzukic volleyed home the winner from Antoine Griezmann’s pass after just 90 seconds.
Real coach Carlo Ancelotti had named Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench due to the effects of a hamstring injury that had seen him withdrawn from the first leg. However, even the Portuguese could not break down Atletico’s typically well-organised defence as they held on to end Real’s hopes of claiming six trophies this season.
Real were caught out by a flying start from Atletico as Raphael Varane’s misjudged header allowed his French international team-mate Griezmann to feed Mandzukic to score his first goal since signing from Bayern Munich.
The visitors slowly grew into the game, though, and Luka Modric was inches away from a spectacular equaliser when he volleyed just over from outside the area. James Rodriguez then began to dictate the pace of the game and he was only denied a leveller by a spectacular save from Miguel Angel Moya before the Colombian also directed a header just wide of the target.
Rodriguez then fed Gareth Bale inside the area, but the Welshman pulled his shot disappointingly wide. However, it was Atletico who had the clearest chance to double their advantage before half-time as Raul Garcia inexplicably headed over Koke’s corner from point-blank range.
Ronaldo made his entrance at the break as he replaced the ineffective Toni Kroos. Garcia was inches away again at the start of the second period as this time he turned a Koke free-kick onto the underside of the bar and Iker Casillas reacted well to prevent Mandzukic forcing the ball home from close range.
And Garcia was desperately unlucky again moments later as this time he fired just wide with Casillas beaten. Ronaldo made his first real impression with a thunderous effort that was well held by Moya, but Atletico were creating the greater threat and went close twice more through Koke and Griezmann. Real’s miserable evening was rounded off in stoppage time as Modric was sent off for a second bookable offence when he upended Cristian Rodriguez.