Yesterday, the Champions of Europe faced each other for the UEFA Super Cup, and after a grueling encounter, Real Madrid won 3-2. This victory was not quite easy though; Los Blancos had to fight it out for 120 minutes. The Madrid side had to play without their best players, Cristiano Ronaldo and FGareth Bale, who are currently on holiday after the Euro 2016. But they did prove that without these two, they can still beat anyone. And beat someone they did; Sevilla have thus failed to beat any of the two best teams in the Spanish League in a cup final.
Before this match, I had my reservations about the Madrid squad; they were not exactly playing top-notch football after the Champions League victory against Atletico Madrid, and some of the layers looked a bit rusty. The International Champions Cup brought out a few flaws in the team; there was this lazy attitude from a lot of the players, presumably because they won the Champions League and therefore could not be bothered to win the ICC, and some of the players just returned from holidays after playing in the Euros and Copa America. The same could be said for Sevilla, though. But this match showed that they are back to full match readiness, and even without their top players Ronaldo and Bale, they still have that killer edge.
A lot of work still needs to be done about the defending, though. Sergio Ramos seems to be keeping a score of how many penalties he can cause in a year; this is the second time he is doing this in a final in three months. Sevilla actually came close to winning the match; if not for Sergio Ramos (villain turned hero. We forgive him for the penalty), who scored in the dying minutes of regulation time to bring Madrid level and force the game into extra time. Then, Madrid gave another example of why the charm they prepared for winning finals in extra time still works. Dani Carvajal pulled a Maradona, dribbling pasta bunch of defenders before scoring the winning goal and breaking every Sevilla fan’s heart.
Remember how they lost the final of the Copa Del Rey against Barcelona in May? This is déjà vu; that game too was won in extra time. If only it was a league match; they would be unbeatable, that’s what they are saying. So take note, Barca and Madrid! You only won because the match entered extra time.
Congrats, Madrid! This surely looks like the beginning of another excellent campaign for some more silverware.