Atletico Madrid beat Real to lift Spanish Supercup
Atletico Madrid won the Spanish Supercup 2-1 on aggregate following a 1-0 win over Real Madrid in the second leg of the competition in the Vicente Calderon Stadium Friday night.
Following a 1-1 draw in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium Tuesday night, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti made several changes to his side, most notably with James Rodriguez in the starting 11 along with Fabio Coentrao and Rafael Varene with Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench after suffering a muscle injury in midweek, Xinhua reported.
Meanwhile Angel Di Maria, who Ancelotti confirmed Thursday had asked for a transfer over the summer, was dropped from the squad, despite a game-changing substitute display three days earlier.
Atletico Madrid kept faith in the side which had stifled their neighbours so effectively Tuesday night with two exceptions as Tiago Cardoso replaced Mario Suarez and Antoine Griezmann also forcing his way into the side.
The only goal of the game came in the second minute when recent arrival Mario Mandzukic latched onto a header from Griezmann after a long clearance from Atletico keeper, Miguel Angel Moya.
Atletico controlled the first 20 minutes, but saw coach Diego Simeone sent off for protesting after 25 minutes after an action which saw him give the fourth official a slight slap around the neck.
In a frantic close to the second half, James and Gareth Bale, both had chances to level, while Raul Garcia could have doubled Atletico's lead at the end of the first half and the start of the second with a shot that hit the corner of the woodwork and bounced out.
Atletico had not beaten Real Madrid at home for over 15 years and the pressure built up as the game continued, although the home side worked hard to increase their lead with Koke and Griezmann closest to adding to their lead.
Real Madrid threatened at the end, but saw Luka Modric sent off for a second yellow card and although Sergio Ramos threatened to level deep in injury time, this time it was not to be and Atletico started the season with a dose of revenge for their defeat in the Champions League final last May.
(Posted on 23-08-2014)