Real Run Rampant In Supercopa de España
James Rodríguez Scored A Stunning Free-Kick In The First Leg As His Team Dominated
18/08/2023 - 21/08/2023
Real Madrid claimed their second trophy of the season in the form of the Supercopa de España as they crushed arch-rivals FC Barcelona 9-0 on aggregate. This included an outstanding 7-0 home victory, the largest victory by either side in an El Clásico fixture in 80 years. Real Madrid's French striker Anthony Martial scored five goals over the course of the two legs, while club captain Cristiano Ronaldo was also on target in the first leg.
vs Barcelona (18/08/2023) Supercopa de España Leg 1
The prospect of facing FC Barcelona prompted Christian Schäfer to opt for a 4-3-3 formation. Toni Kroos replaced Isco, to partner Andrés Cubas and Mateo Kovacic in a midfield triangle. Cristiano Ronaldo returned to his more natural left wing position, while Anthony Martial started up front, replacing Hirving Lozano. Leonel Cardozo (DC) picked up a dead leg in training, and was replaced by Pasca Andrei Sorin as a result.
Stand-in captain Neymar lead the FC Barcelona line. Former Real Madrid player Martin Ødegaard started in attacking midfield, while Andrija Zivkovic and Matheus Pereira flanked James Ward-Prowse and Julian Weigl in midfield. This meant that there was no place for either Luis Suárez or Lionel Messi in the team, a team selection by Joachim Löw which shocked many Barcelona supporters.
It took no longer than four minutes for Real Madrid to assert their dominance on the fixture, as Anthony Martial spearheaded a quick-moving counter-attack. The Frenchman picked out James Rodríguez in acres of space on the right wing, and his cross was dinked over the Barcelona defence by Cristiano Ronaldo, and in to the path of the onrushing Mateo Kovacic who swept the ball past the helpless Marc-André ter Stegen in Barcelona's goal. Real Madrid had claimed the first goal of many in an emphatic victory.
Anthony Martial looked to have doubled Real's lead just minutes later when Andrés Cubas picked him out with a brilliantly-threaded through ball, but the Frenchman's effort was tipped away by the alert Marc-André ter Stegen.
Martial was not to be denied, and he scored the first of many no more than two minutes later. Toni Kroos' sweeping long ball to Juan Bernat opened up space in the final third and James Rodríguez received the left-back's clever cut-back before teeing up Anthony Martial who found the top-right corner with a drilled effort from no more than ten yards out.
Cristiano Ronaldo got in on the action when Juan Bernat was brought down by Silvan Widmer in the box to hand Real Madrid a penalty. Up stepped the Portugese magician, who sent the keeper the wrong to give Real Madrid an incredible three-goal lead within the opening fifteen minutes.
Anthony Martial would go on to add his second of the game before the half-hour mark, and he would never get an easier opportunity to do so. From James Rodríguez' corner, Pasca Andrei Sorin powered a volley straight at Marc-André ter Stegen. However, the German goalkeeper spilled the ball in to the path of Martial who doubled his tally for the game with ease.
The second half was much like the first, with Real Madrid undoubtedly in the ascendancy. Substitute Eden LuaLua, who came on to make his debut for the club, picked out Cristiano Ronaldo with a lofted pass, and the Portuguese wide-man cushioned a header to Martial. The Frenchman left Aleksander Dragovic on his ass with a clever turn before side-footing past ter Stegen to complete his hat-trick before the hour mark.
Martial was not done yet, however, as he got on the end of substitute Hirving Lozano's low cross to poke past ter Stegen and score his fourth goal of the game. He was in incredible form and he knew it, as he earned a rapturous cheer from the Real Madrid fans.
At 6-0, Barcelona looked dead and buried. But Real Madrid, and James Rodríguez, were not done yet. The Colombian stepped up to a free-kick opportunity in the dying seconds of stoppage time, and curled the ball around the wall and in to the bottom corner to seal a memorable victory for Los Blancos
Anthony Martial (Real Madrid) 9.8
Christian Schäfer's Post-Match Interview:
"I'm just speechless, it was the perfect home debut for me! We outclassed Barcelona in every single aspect, and the fans urged the players to continue scoring when the game was already well beyond any doubt. We are now in an extremely strong position in this tie and I don't see any way back for Barcelona now."
vs Barcelona (21/08/2023) Supercopa de España Leg 2
It was an unchanged line-up for Real Madrid, following a terrific first-leg performance. Luis Suárez came in for Matheus Pereira, in the Barcelona line-up, pushing Neymar to the left wing. Julian Weigl, Sylvian Widmer and Joel Matip were also replaced for poor performances, as Dani Ceballos, Victor Lindelöf and Antonio Rüdiger came in to the side.
The changes did not offer much respite to Joachim Löw's side in the opening minutes, as Real Madrid capitalised on poor defending from the hosts. Alessandro Florenzi picked up a loose pass in Barcelona's third, and played a dangerous cross from the goal-line. Anthony Martial was on hand to power a header past ter Stegen to give Real Madrid an away goal, and to further embarrass a distraught Barcelona side.
Neymar looked to make amends for his side's shortcomings in the previous fixture, and he nearly got his name on the scoresheet twenty minutes in to the game. The Brazilian showed Juan Bernat a clean set of heels before surging in the box. With just the goalkeeper to beat, Neymar struck a powerful drive towards the bottom corner, but Real Madrid's Juan Carlos Triviño was more than capable of matching the effort, as the Madrid-born shot-stopper kept his childhood team in the ascendancy with a stunning low save.
Barcelona thought they tied the game on the night ten minutes before half-time after some brilliant passing play on the left. Richairo Zivkovic found himself in plenty of space on the left wing and his cross picked out Martin Ødegaard five yards from goal but the Norwegian saw his effort saved by a truly outstanding Juan Carlos Triviño. Real Madrid's very own home-grown talent produced the goods once more.
Real Madrid sealed their second victory against Barcelona in as many games with twenty minutes to spare on the night. From a Barcelona corner, Real Madrid's substitute Cebolinha stormed forward with the ball, having won the initial header, and he picked out Italian wing-back Alessandro Florenzi in plenty of space. Florenzi's low cross proved to be out of reach of the helpless ter Stegen, and Hirving Lozano was at the back post to tap in his first goal for Real Madrid.
Toni Kroos and Cebolinha looked to add to Real Madrid's tally before full-time with speculative long-range efforts which tested ter Stegen, but the German goalkeeper proved to be up to the task and kept Real Madrid's goal tally over the two legs at nine. In a two-legged affair which Real Madrid dominated, Barcelona were no match for the quality of players in the ranks of Los Blancos
Alessandro Florenzi (Real Madrid) 8.7
Christian Schäfer's Post-Match Interview:
"It wasn't quite seven-nil, but this result was also fantastic. We kept cleansheets over the two legs and scoring plenty of goals. I am very proud of the players and I am delighted to have won yet another trophy."
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