Real Madrid Beat Eintracht Frankfurt To Win UEFA Super Cup

Real Madrid’s French forward Karim Benzema (2nd L) celebrates scoring the 2-0 goal with his team-mates during the UEFA Super Cup football match between Real Madrid vs Eintracht Frankfurt in Helsinki, on August 10, 2022. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

 

Goals from David Alaba and Karim Benzema gave Real Madrid a 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt and a fifth UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday.

While Frankfurt were dangerous, particularly in the first half, Madrid’s experience and individual quality saw them through, as it did so often in their victorious 2021-22 Champions League campaign.

Frankfurt had the best of the early stages, with Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois forced into a stunning anticipation save when one-on-one with Daichi Kamada in the 14th minute.

Madrid almost got their first, when Benzema released Vinicius to curl past Kevin Trapp in the penalty box, only for Tuta to clear the ball off the line.

With Madrid dominating possession, Frankfurt mounted several counter-attacks until Madrid launched a counter of their own in the 37th minute.

A diving Trapp got his fingertips to a goal-bound shot by Vinicius, pushing the ball out for a corner.

From the ensuing play, Benzema linked with Casemiro just next to the right post.

The Brazilian sucked in several Frankfurt defenders and a diving Trapp, before heading back to an unmarked Alaba who scored from close range.

After the goal, Madrid stepped it up a gear and should have gone 2-0 up, with Benzema uncharacteristically dragging the ball wide with the goal begging in the 41st minute.

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Vinicius, Benzema Connect 

Madrid’s quality became more obvious in the second half, with Trapp saving a deflected Vinicius shot in the 54th minute and Casemiro hitting the crossbar with 61 minutes gone.

Borussia Dortmund loanee Ansgar Knauff had a chance saved just minutes later before Vinicius and Benzema combined to put Madrid 2-0 up.

Vinicius skated down the left before slicing the ball back seemingly unsighted for the Frenchman to hammer home from the edge of the box.

Frankfurt fought hard in the closing stages but Madrid were able to dominate the game to win their fifth Super Cup from eight attempts.

The clash, in Helsinki’s Olympic Stadium, was the first time these two sides had met in a European decider since 1960 when Madrid dismantled Frankfurt 7-3 through four goals to Ferenc Puskas and three to Alfredo di Stefano in the European Cup final.

The match also highlighted the growing gap between the Champions League and Europa League competitions, with Madrid being the ninth Champions League team to win the competition in the past 10 years.

Only city rivals Atletico Madrid have won the Super Cup when qualifying via a Europa League win in the past decade, having done so by beating Real in the 2018 edition.

In the 10 years before, Champions League and Europa League participants won five Super Cups each.

Frankfurt joined Hamburg (1977 and 1983), Dortmund (1997), and Bremen (1992) as losing Super Cup finalists from Germany, with only Bayern Munich (2013 and 2020) having won the showpiece event.

AFP

Real Madrid Beat Athletic Bilbao To Win Spanish Super Cup


Real Madrid players celebrate winning the Spanish Super Cup final football match between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid on January 16, 2022, at the King Fahd International Stadium in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. AFP

 

Real Madrid won the Spanish Super Cup by beating Athletic Bilbao 2-0 on Sunday as Luka Modric and a Karim Benzema penalty secured a comfortable victory in Saudi Arabia.

Modric’s curling finish towards the end of the first half and Benzema’s strike early in the second sealed the win for Madrid, who claimed their first trophy in Carlo Ancelotti’s second spell as coach.

Athletic had beaten La Liga champions Atletico Madrid to reach the final but were well beaten at the King Fahd Stadium by a slick, organised Real Madrid side, that have now lost only once in 20 matches.

They had brief hope in the 87th minute when they were awarded a penalty and Eder Militao was sent off, but Raul Garcia missed and Madrid’s win was safe.

READ ALSO: Liverpool Beat Brentford To Move Up To Second

Ancelotti’s side face Elche on Wednesday in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey and Paris Saint-Germain next month in the last 16 of the Champions League.

In La Liga, they are five points clear at the top of the table.

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

Modric continued his brilliant form by scoring the opener, a goal that makes him the oldest goalscorer in Spanish Super Cup history at 36.


Real Madrid players celebrate with the winner’s trophy after winning the Spanish Super Cup final football match between Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid on January 16, 2022, at the King Fahd International stadium in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.  FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP

 

The 33-year-old Marcelo, meanwhile, came on for the last few minutes, before lifting his 23rd trophy at Real Madrid, equalling the haul of Paco Gento as the most successful player in the club’s history.

“He’s one of the greats, a legend of this club,” said Madrid president Florentino Perez.

Ancelotti now has five trophies as Real Madrid coach, adding a Spanish Super Cup to the Copa del Rey, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup he won during his first spell.

The Spanish Super Cup stayed in Spain in 2021 because of the pandemic but has returned to Saudi Arabia as part of an agreement until 2029 that will earn the Spanish football federation around 30 million euros a year.

Objections from players and coaches have been noticeably muted but Athletic Bilbao’s Raul Garcia spoke out last week. He said moving a Spanish tournament 7,000 kilometres away was symptomatic of the authorities “forgetting the basics of football”.

Criticism has been more forthright from human rights groups like Amnesty International, who have accused the federation of failing to support “harassed and persecuted women in Saudi Arabia” and of collaborating in Saudi “image-washing”.

Athletic’s Inaki Williams and Oihan Sancet looked dangerous early on, with Williams wanting a penalty when the ball struck the sliding David Alaba on the hand but referee Cesar Soto was not interested.

Despite Vinicius Junior’s imperious form in recent weeks, Madrid’s greatest threat came down the opposite side, through Rodrygo.

The first warning came when Kroos pinged the ball out to the Brazilian, who dropped it inside for Benzema and the striker’s curling shot flew just wide of Unai Simon’s far post.

The opener took a similar route, even if it started with Thibaut Courtois, who played out to Toni Kroos. Under pressure, Kroos found Casemiro and the ball shuffled along, through Modric and out right.

Rodrygo drove past two Athletic defenders afraid to challenge in the box and by the time Dani Garcia slid to block, it was too late, Rodrygo toeing the ball inside to Modric, who whipped the ball first time into the corner.

Seven minutes into the second half, it was two, as Yeray Alvarez leapt to block Benzema”s shot, stopping the ball with his outstretched right arm. The referee checked the monitor and gave the penalty, which Benzema fired left and in.

Hope for Athletic came late, and briefly, in the 87th minute, when Militao was sent off for blocking another Raul Garcia header towards goal and Athletic were awarded a penalty. But Raul Garcia missed, his drive down the middle met by the left foot of Courtois.

AFP

Real Madrid Down Barcelona To Reach Spanish Super Cup Final


Real Madrid’s players celebrate after scoring during the Spanish Super Cup semi-final football match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the King Fahad International Stadium in the Saudi capital Riyadh on January 12, 2022. FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP

 

Real Madrid struck a fifth Clasico victory in a row on Wednesday to advance to the Spanish Super Cup final but Barcelona’s young guns showed why there is belief the club’s recovery has begun.

READ ALSO: Chelsea Beat Tottenham To Reach League Cup Final

At the end of a pulsating contest in Saudi Arabia, Madrid scraped through 3-2 after extra-time and will now face either Atletico Madrid or Athletic Bilbao, who play on Thursday, in Sunday’s final.

AFP

Al Ahly Win CAF Super Cup In Dramatic Fashion 


Ahly’s players celebrate with the winners trophy following the CAF Super Cup football match between Egypt’s Al-Ahly and Morocco’s Raja Club Athletic (Raja Casablanca) at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in the Qatari city of Ar-Rayyan on December 22, 2021. KARIM JAAFAR / AFP

 

Taher Mohamed and Akram Tawfik played key roles as Al Ahly of Egypt edged Raja Casablanca of Morocco 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw to win a CAF Super Cup thriller in Qatar on Wednesday.  

Mohamed levelled during the final minute of regular time in Al Rayyan, firing a low shot into the corner of the net after being set up by South African Percy Tau.

Raja had led from the 13th minute when an Abdelilah Madkour shot deflected off Yassir Ibrahim into the net at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, one of eight 2022 World Cup venues.

In a superb exhibition of penalty taking, the clubs converted five each to send the shootout to sudden death.

Tawfik nudged Ahly ahead for a sixth time with a kick that gave Raja goalkeeper Anas Zniti no chance before a large crowd in the 45,000-capacity ground.

Madkour had to score to keep Raja in contention, but he blazed his shot over the crossbar and Ahly celebrated a record-extending eighth Super Cup success.

“My team showed wonderful spirit — they never accepted that defeat was inevitable,” said South Africa-born Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane.

READ ALSO: FIFA Promises New Funds For Member Federations Under Biennial World Cup Plan

Ahly’s players celebrate with the winners trophy following the CAF Super Cup football match between Egypt’s Al-Ahly and Morocco’s Raja Club Athletic (Raja Casablanca) at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in the Qatari city of Ar-Rayyan on December 22, 2021. KARIM JAAFAR / AFP

 

Mosimane, who joined Ahly in 2019 from Pretoria club Mamelodi Sundowns, has won six CAF club titles, two less than record-holder Manuel Jose, the Portuguese who had two spells in charge of Ahly.

In the other dugout was Belgian Marc Wilmots, who joined Raja last month and will be hoping for a more successful second stint in Africa after lasting just six months as coach of the Ivory Coast.

The nail-biting success confirmed Ahly as the dominant force in Africa with 23 titles — 10 in the CAF Champions League, eight in the Super Cup, four in the Cup Winners Cup and one in the Confederation Cup.

TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo and another Egyptian club, Zamalek, share second place with 11 titles each.

AFP

Nigeria Customs, NSCDC Win Volleyball Super Cup

Members of team Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) pose with a trophy after they won the Nigeria Volleyball Super Cup.

 

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have emerged champions of the Nigeria Volleyball Super Cup.

Team Customs beat Kano Pillars 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-20) in the men’s final while NSCDC defeated the NCS 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 25-22) in a keenly contested women’s final played at the indoor sports hall of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.

NSCDC also restored their pride by beating Sunshine Spikers 3-1 (25-22, 25-27, 25-17, 25-22) to settle for third place in the men’s category while COAS Spikers thrashed Kada Emeralds 3-0 (25-16, 25-9, 25-20) in the women’s third-place match.

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The head coach of the NCS men’s team, Eric Kefas, told reporters that Kano Pillars were a good side, but they could not withstand the firepower of his team.

He described the Customs team as a mixture of experienced players, as well as young and hungry players ready to perform exploit.

Members of team Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) pose with a trophy after they won the Nigeria Volleyball Super Cup.

 

“I give all glory to God for giving the team the opportunity to be at the Super Cup; we entered this tournament as 2019 league champions and we are returning to Abuja with the trophy,” Kefas said.

He added, “Our success story is not complete if we fail to acknowledge the continuous support of the Controller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hammed Ali.

“My boys were determined to lift the trophy and that was why they came all out against Kano Pillars. They are a good side but our mixture of old experienced players, as well as young and hungry players, gave us victory”.

The teams that participated at the just-concluded Super Cup include Customs (men and women), NSCDC (men and women), Kano Pillars (men), COAS Spikers (men and women), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) (women), Offa Volleyball Cub (men), Sunshine Spikers (men), Kada Emeralds (women), and Heartland Strikers of Owerri (women).

In his remarks, the President of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Musa Nimrod, said the nation’s volleyball governing body was pleased with the outcome of the competition.

He also called for partnerships from the private sector to get more attraction to the sport and improve volleyball in the country.

Martinez’s Extra Time Goal Hands Bayern Narrow Super Cup Win Over Sevilla

Bayern Munich’s German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and his teammates celebrate with the trophy after the UEFA Super Cup football match between FC Bayern Munich and Sevilla FC at the Puskas Arena in Budapest, Hungary on September 24, 2020. BERNADETT SZABO / POOL / AFP

 

Bayern Munich have won the 2020 UEFA Super Cup after beating Sevilla 2-1 courtesy of a Javi Martinez extra-time winner. 

Having equalised with a crucial 120th-minute goal seven years ago when Bayern won the 2013 Super Cup on penalties against Chelsea, Martinez struck on 104 minutes at the Puskas Arena to hand the Champions League winners’ a fourth title in 2020.

After Lucas Ocampos converted an early penalty for Sevilla, Leon Goretzka equalised for Bayern, who had two second-half goals disallowed before substitute Martinez, 32, struck.

Having replaced Goretzka on 99 minutes, it was Martinez – linked to a return to Spain after losing a first-team place under Hansi Flick – whose header extends Bayern’s winning streak to 23 games dating back to February.

Bayern had beaten PSG in the final of the UEFA Champions League to book a date with Sevilla. Photo: [email protected] Bayern Munchen.

 

Bayern can win a fifth title this year next Wednesday when they host Borussia Dortmund in Munich for the German Super Cup.

There were a smattering of travelling Bayern and Sevilla fans among the 15,500 crowd in Budapest as both clubs played for the first time in front of spectators since the Covid-19 pandemic first hit Europe in March.

Champions League winners Bayern fell behind for the first time this season on 14 minutes when the VAR judged David Alaba had fouled Ivan Rakitic in the area and Ocampos converted Sevilla’s penalty.

 

Bayern Munich players celebrate with the trophy after the UEFA Super Cup football match between FC Bayern Munich and Sevilla FC at the Puskas Arena in Budapest, Hungary on September 24, 2020. Laszlo Szirtesi / POOL / AFP

 

Alaba was booked for the challenge, but replays showed Rakitic seemed to run into the Austrian defender.

There were nervous glances in the Germans’ ranks, especially when defender Benjamin Pavard and Thomas Mueller both missed chances.

Goretzka got Bayern back on level terms when Mueller and Robert Lewandowski combined in the area for the midfielder to smash home the equaliser with 34 minutes gone.

It stayed 1-1 at the break, but Bayern turned up the heat on the Europa League holders.

Just six minutes after the break, Lewandowski had the ball in the net after being set up by Thomas Mueller, but the VAR spotted the Poland striker was just the length a of a boot offside.

Then with an hour gone, Bayern winger Leroy Sane was left frustrated after his shot powered past Sevilla’s Moroccan goalkeeper Bono, but the VAR spotted Lewandowski had the lightest of touches on a Sevilla defender in the build up.

Bayern maintained the pressre, but with the 90 minutes almost up Manuel Neuer underlined his status as one of the world’s best goalkeepers with a finger-tip save to deny Youssef En-Nesyri after Sevilla attacked from the edge of their own penalty area.

Sevilla made a great start to extra-time with Bayern in all sorts of trouble, as Ocampos had a shot blocked while En-Nesyri’s shot clipped the post after crashing off Neuer’s leg.

However, the scene was set for Martinez, a veteran of the side which won the 2013 Champions League final in London, to add to his chapter in Bayern’s folklore.

AFP

UEFA, Bayern In Super Cup Talks After Budapest Travel Warning

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 28, 2020 shows the UEFA logo at the organization's headquarters in Nyon. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 28, 2020 shows the UEFA logo at the organization’s headquarters in Nyon. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP.

 

UEFA said Thursday they are in talks with Bayern Munich over next week’s Super Cup final in Budapest after the German government declared the Hungarian capital a risk area for the coronavirus.

Despite the travel warning, European football’s governing body say Champions League winners Bayern will face Europa League holders Sevilla as planned at Budapest’s Puskas Arena on September 24 for the UEFA Super Cup.

“UEFA is in contact with Bayern Munich,” European football’s governing body said in a statement.

“The impact of the decision of the German authorities on the fans who have purchased tickets is being discussed.

“Further information will be provided in due course.”

The Robert Koch Institute, which advises the German government, has added Budapest to its list of risk areas.

At the start of September, Hungary closed its borders to foreigners in a bid to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Bayern fans are due to travel with 4,500 tickets allocated to the German champions as 30 percent of the stadium’s 67,000 capacity will be used for the UEFA Super Cup final.

AFP

UEFA Gives Nod To Partial Fan Return For Super Cup

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 28, 2020 shows the UEFA logo at the organization's headquarters in Nyon. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 28, 2020 shows the UEFA logo at the organization’s headquarters in Nyon. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

 

UEFA announced Tuesday that they 30 percent of stadium capacity would be filled at the Super Cup in Budapest where Champions League winners Bayern Munich face Europa League victors Sevilla.

The game is scheduled for September 24 and will become the first international match to be played before a crowd, the coronavirus pandemic having forced games behind closed doors.

“While it has been important to show that football can carry on in difficult times, without fans, the game has lost something of its character,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.

“We hope to use the UEFA Super Cup in Budapest as a pilot that will begin to see the return of fans to our matches.”

Ceferin added: “We are working closely with the Hungarian federation and its government to implement measures to ensure the health of all those attending and participating in the game.

“We will not take risks with people’s safety.”

After a meeting of its executive committee, UEFA said that “all other UEFA matches shall continue to be played behind closed doors until further notice”, as initially decided July 9.

AFP

Super Cup: Fellaini Heads Hat-Trick To Stun Benitez In China

(FILES) This file photo taken on April 9, 2019 shows Shandong Luneng’s Marouane Fellaini running with the ball during the AFC Champions League group stage football match between China’s Shandong Luneng and Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim in Jinan in China’s eastern Shandong province.  STR / AFP

 

Marouane Fellaini, who spent three weeks in hospital with coronavirus, scored a quickfire hat-trick of headers to give Shandong Luneng a 3-2 win over Rafa Benitez’s Dalian Pro on Sunday in China.

Former Newcastle United striker Salomon Rondon looked to have given Benitez’s side a winning start to the Chinese Super League (CSL) season with a 57th-minute header of his own.

But former Manchester United star Fellaini then roared to the fore with three towering headers in the 79th, 83rd and 86th minutes in Dalian.

Spanish coach Benitez, who took Liverpool to Champions League glory, could only look on in stunned bemusement.

Swedish international defender Marcus Danielson pulled a goal back for Dalian deep into stoppage time.

The 32-year-old Fellaini is the only known coronavirus case in the CSL and spent three weeks in hospital in China before his release in mid-April.

Shandong said he was asymptomatic and the giant Belgian midfielder posted pictures on social media of him doing exercises in his hospital bedroom.

The CSL kicked off on Saturday five months late because of coronavirus.

All matches are being played behind closed doors in two cities, Suzhou and Dalian, to limit the risk of infections.

AFP

‘We Made Children’s Mistakes’, Says Messi After Barca Stunned By Atletico

 

Lionel Messi said Barcelona were guilty of playing like children on Thursday after Atletico Madrid staged a thrilling comeback to beat them 3-2 and set up a Spanish Super Cup final against Real Madrid.

Barca looked on course for a Sunday showdown against Real when they led 2-1 with nine minutes left but instead, it will be a Madrid derby in Saudi Arabia to decide who lifts the trophy.

“It’s a shame because we switched off for a few moments and made children’s mistakes,” Messi said. “We should have closed out the match.

“It’s a blow for us, especially as we were the better team. Our mistakes cost us dearly.”

All five goals were scored during a wild second half in Jeddah that began with Koke putting Atletico in front, just 21 seconds after coming on as a substitute at the interval.

Goals from Messi and Antoine Griezmann turned the game on its head, only for Atletico to hit back with a late double, Alvaro Morata converting a penalty in the 81st minute before Angel Correa found a winner in the 86th.

In between, Barcelona also had two goals ruled out after VAR spotted tight offsides while Atleti were denied what looked a clear penalty at 2-2, after the ball clipped the hand of Gerard Pique.

“They had more legs than us and in the end it cost us,” said Griezmann.

“We made mistakes in everything, in passes – I think I missed a pass to Sam (Umtiti) before they scored – and the little things can lose you a match, a league, a Champions League.”

A pulsating contest will have delighted the Spanish Football Federation, who have faced heavy criticism for taking the competition away from Spain to a different continent, and a country that has a long-condemned record on human rights.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said on Wednesday he preferred the old format but his strong team selection, that included Messi, Griezmann and Luis Suarez, suggested this was a tournament he was eager to win.

“The goal for 2-2 came at a time when we didn’t know how to get a hold of the game,” said Valverde, whose position will come under renewed scrutiny.

‘Instability’

“There is always instability when you lose,” he added.

It remains to be seen how this defeat might affect the La Liga title race, with Real Madrid and Atletico now enjoying the opportunity not only to claim a trophy but score a psychological boost too.

“It is important for the club, we beat the best-attacking team in the world,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. “You saw our bite, our belief, our desire. It’s what this club is all about.”

Atletico survived a frantic first half and frustration spilled over at the break as Jordi Alba poked a finger in the face of Joao Felix, who then went head-to-head with Messi. Suarez also had to be pulled away by Stefan Savic.

A spikey end to the first period was trumped by an explosive start to the second as Koke, on for less than a minute, gave Atletico the lead by stabbing into the bottom corner.

Simeone chose not to celebrate and if he was worried about the amount of time left, he was right, as Barcelona scored twice in 11 minutes.

First, Messi equalised after muscling his way through Koke and Savic on the edge of the area and then he fired in again after steering a high ball around Koke. This time, however, VAR showed his elbow had served as a cushion.

The disappointment was brief as Alba crossed for Suarez and while his header was brilliant pawed away by Jan Oblak, Griezmann nodded in the rebound.

Pique thought he had a third after Arturo Vidal half-volleyed Messi’s free-kick across the box but again VAR intervened.

Atletico came again. Correa should have pulled them level but appeared keener to find Felix than shoot himself and when the rebound did fall to the Felix, Sergi Roberto made a last-ditch block.

But the floodgates had opened in the Barca defence. Vitolo was next to go clear and this time he was brought down by Neto. Morata converted the penalty.

Then, Morata skipped free down the right and his cross struck the dangling hand of Pique but despite damning replays, the referee decided against giving another spot-kick.

Yet moments later, Atletico were in again. Correa this time sprinted in behind and while Neto made a block, the ball had just enough power to cross the line. Now, Simeone could celebrate.

Kroos Stunner Helps Real Madrid Through To Spanish Super Cup Final

Real Madrid’s Spanish midfielder Isco (R) scores past Valencia’s Spanish goalkeeper Jaume Domenech (L) during the Spanish Super Cup semi final between Valencia and Real Madrid on January 8, 2020, at the King Abdullah Sport City in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah. AFP

 

Toni Kroos scored a wonder goal straight from a corner as Real Madrid beat Valencia 3-1 on Wednesday to reach the final of the controversial Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia. 

Kroos caught Valencia goalkeeper Jaume Domenech napping with a brilliant, instinctive strike before Isco made it two and Luka Modric added a classy third from a curling finish with the outside of his foot.

After two superb goals, the only shame was more fans were not there to see them given the King Abdullah Sports City stadium appeared only a little more than half full.

Dani Parejo scored a late Valencia penalty but Madrid advance to Sunday’s final where they will meet the winner of the second semi-final between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid on Thursday.

Barca coach Ernesto Valverde had said earlier on Wednesday that he preferred the traditional format of this competition, that pitted the La Liga champions against the winners of the Copa del Rey in a match in Spain in August.

Under those rules, Real Madrid, who finished third in the league last term and failed to reach the final of the cup would not even have qualified but they now have the chance to win their first trophy of the season, possibly against Barca in a Clasico final.

But it is the new location that has grated most, because of the lack of consideration for Spanish fans and the implications of associating with a country that has been heavily criticised for its treatment of women and record over human rights.

In one of the more unusual aspects of the night, a giant banner of the King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia were hung in the centre of the pitch during half-time.

 Long unbeaten run 

Either side of the interval, Real Madrid were too strong, extending their unbeaten run to 15 matches with another performance to suggest they are La Liga’s form team ahead of the second half of the season.

For long spells, they outplayed Valencia, who have been on a strong run themselves, even if they had to cope without star player Rodrigo Moreno due to a knee injury.

Madrid were also without their own top scorer in Karim Benzema, who has a hamstring strain, as well as Gareth Bale, who has a throat infection.

In their absence, Kroos stepped up with a goal of which both Benzema and Bale would have been proud.

Madrid won the corner in the 15th minute and with Domenech out of his goal, instructing Francis Coquelin, Kroos nipped around the flag and bent the ball towards the net.

Domenech saw it coming but too late, and he could only succeed in punching the ball into the inside of his own side-netting.

Valencia wanted a penalty when Casemiro nudged Carlos Soler in the back and Kevin Gameiro should have done better than blast over after he did well to wriggle through.

But Madrid were the dominant force and Isco doubled the lead before the break. Fede Valverde pulled back for Modric and while his shot was blocked, Isco fired in the follow-up.

Luka Jovic’s struggles continued as he struck the post from close range before Modric added a final flourish, selling Gabriel Paulista with a stepover left before guiding the ball into the far corner with the ouside of his right foot.

Sergio Ramos handballed late on and Parejo scored the penalty but for Valencia the game was already up.

AFP

Liverpool Beat Chelsea To Win UEFA Super Cup

Chelsea’s English striker Tammy Abraham (C) vies for the ball with Liverpool’s Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk (L) and Liverpool’s Spanish goalkeeper Adrian during the UEFA Super Cup 2019 football match between FC Liverpool and FC Chelsea at Besiktas Park Stadium in Istanbul on August 14, 2019. Bulent Kilic / AFP

 

 

Liverpool beat Chelsea 5-4 on penalties to win the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday after a richly entertaining match in Istanbul finished 2-2 at the end of extra time.

Every penalty in the shoot-out had found the net before Tammy Abraham’s effort was saved by Spanish goalkeeper Adrian, allowing the European champions to win the trophy for the fourth time in their history.

Sadio Mane had earlier cancelled out Olivier Giroud’s opener and then scored again to put Liverpool 2-1 up five minutes into extra time. However, Jorginho netted a penalty at the other end to force the shoot-out.


Liverpool celebrates winning the UEFA Super Cup 2019 football match between FC Liverpool and FC Chelsea at Besiktas Park Stadium in Istanbul on August 14, 2019. OZAN KOSE / AFP.

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates winning the UEFA Super Cup 2019 football match between FC Liverpool and FC Chelsea at Besiktas Park Stadium in Istanbul on August 14, 2019. OZAN KOSE / AFP

Liverpool’s players celebrate winning the UEFA Super Cup 2019 football match between FC Liverpool and FC Chelsea at Besiktas Park Stadium in Istanbul on August 14, 2019.
Bulent Kilic / AFP

Liverpool 2 (Mane 48, 95) Chelsea 2 (Giroud 36, Jorginho 101-pen)

— after extra-time; Liverpool win 5-4 on penalties

Below are recent winners of the UEFA Super Cup after Liverpool beat Chelsea 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in the 2019 match in Istanbul on Wednesday:

2019: Liverpool (ENG)

2018: Atletico Madrid (ESP)

2017: Real Madrid (ESP)

2016: Real Madrid (ESP)

2015: Barcelona (ESP)