Supercopa de Espana: Second Leg
After an action-packed first leg that had everything from controversial red cards to a comeback win to an absolutely stunning game-winning goal, the second leg of the Supercopa de Espana was bound to be an absolute thriller. Atletico Madrid were out for vengeance, and Real Madrid wanted to yet again prove their dominance in the capital city.
Atletico had plenty of reason to be optimistic, though. Despite losing 2-1 in the first leg, they had gotten an away goal, and arguably only lost due to Miranda's red card. Now, they had a very strong chance of upsetting the odds at the Vicente Calderon with a shock win. Importantly for Real, though, Cristiano Ronaldo had passed a late fitness test to start as a lone striker, while Gareth Bale began from the bench. The full lineups were as follows:
Atletico Madrid Team News
Starting XI (4-2-3-1)
: Oblak; Juanfran, Godin, Gimenez, Siqueira; Koke, Gabi; Cerci, Turan, Griezmann, Mandzukic
: Moya, Gamez, Ansaldi, Suarez, Tiago, Correa, Destro
Real Madrid Team News
Starting XI (4-1-4-1)
: Casillas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Coentrao; Illaramendi; Modric, Khedira, Kroos, Rodriguez; Ronaldo
: Navas, Musacchio, Isco, Hernandez, Llorente, Pepe, Bale
Real Madrid lined up a little more defensively than expected, and Atletico took full advantage, leaping out of the gates and attacking from the first whistle. Obviously, Laudrup was displeased with the defensive performance his side had put in during the first leg and was determined to make things right with an attacking, beautiful victory in leg two.
In the 26th minute, Atletico took the lead. Koke whipped in a corner kick, but Sergio Ramos was equal to it and headed clear. The ball fell straight to Guilherme Siquiera, however, and the left back took an ambitious volley on as it came to him. The strike deflected off of Asier Illaramendi and fell in front of Antoine Griezmann in the box to easily dispatch for a 1-0 lead, 2-2 on aggregate with Los Colchoneros ahead on goal difference.
The lead didn't last all too long, however. James Rodriguez was a threat for Los Blancos all game down the left flank, and he scythed apart Atleti's defense with a beautiful long through pass to Cristiano Ronaldo. The Ballon D'Or winner eased away from Godin and Gimenez with his blistering pace before slotting past Jan Oblak to equalize, and thus put his side ahead on aggregate once again.
Nine minutes later, the action continued in a similar vein. Antoine Griezmann, Laudrup's best player so far this season, continued being integral in the attack. The Frenchman's free kick was destined for the top corner, but Casillas read it well and moved across to catch it. Embarrassingly, Spain's number one dropped the ball, allowed captain Gabi to sprint forth and poke home to make it 2-1 and equalize on aggregate.
Iker Casillas shocking mistake to let Gabi score let Atletico back into the Supercopa and put further questions on his performances after an abysmal World Cup showing.
The second half passed without much incident, and so the Derby Madrileno plunged into extra time on 3-3 after 180 minutes. James Rodriguez continued to make a massive impact just three minutes into extra time, taking over a free kick from Cristiano Ronaldo. Most fans looked troubled at this, but cast that aside and celebrated when the Colombian's strike gorgeously dipped over the Atletico wall and nestled into the corner, meaning the mattress makers would need 2 goals.
Real tossed Atletico a lifeline in stoppage time of the first period of extra time. Koke's delightful service from a corner kick was bound to find Gabi's head in the box, only for the Atletico captain to be bear-hugged to the ground by Pepe, who had come off the bench. Guilherme Siqueira's goal from the penalty spot was the last kick of the first period to make it 3-2 on the night.
The second period was onslaught after onslaught of Atletico attack, but Real's defense stayed stalwart and strong, repelling their rivals until the last whistle to seal a dramatic 4-4 away goals victory in the Supercopa de Espana.
"Obviously it is very tough when you win the game like this and yet lose the trophy," said Michael Laudrup after the game. "Of course, everyone is disappointed. It is natural to be disappointed after you lose a trophy. However, we can take a lot of positives; we played very well, and we beat the champions of Europe."
Laudrup went on to criticize the away goal rule. "I think it is very unfair that whoever hosts the second leg automatically has a disadvantage in extra time, because the opposition has more time to get an away goal. Extra time should not count toward away goals, we were a bit hard done by. Despite all of this, I am immensely proud of my team, and I know this bodes well for the season ahead."