The fourth all-Spanish UEFA Super Cup took place on Tuesday night at the Lerkendal Stadion in Trondheim with Champions League winners Real Madrid taking on Europa League champions Sevilla.
Real Madrid vs Sevilla
Zinedine Zidane was forced to shuffle his deck as five of his first-team regulars were unable to feature in the first official match of the 2016-17 season. Cristiano Ronaldo missed the game with a knee problem he sustained in the UFA EURO 2016 final, while Gareth Bale, Pepe and Toni Kroos were all given extended time to recover from the European Championship finals in France.
Real Madrid manager hoped that Karim Benzema would be available from the start, but he still decided to leave the French striker on the bench due to his back problem and to start with Alvaro Morata up front.
What is more, Los Blancos headed into the game without their first choice goalkeeper Keylor Navas who is struggling with Achilles tendon issue.
It was a chance for Champions League winners’ manager to give his young guns such as Marco Asensio further opportunity to prove themselves and it is fair to say that the 20-year-old attacking midfielder grabbed it with both hands.
Sevilla entered the Super Cup match with a much changed squad as four of the first team members who started the last season’s UEFA Europa League final – Grzegorz Krychowiak, Kevin Gameiro, Coke and Ever Banega – all changed club during summer.
Rojiblancos also lost the main man responsible for their consecutive European trophies as coach Unai Emery took over from Laurent Blanc at Paris Saint-Germain.
Match against Real Madrid was new manager Jorge Sampaoli’s competitive debut at the bench, who led the team into their fifth UEFA Super Cup appearance.
Eventful 45 minutes were on display on Tuesday night with two debutants making all the difference in the first part of the match.
Real Madrid pushed their La Liga rivals in early stages of the game as Sevilla were pushed against the wall, but Jorge Sampaoli’s men gained ground as the game went on, dominating the possession over Real Madrid.
Still, it was Los Blancos who opened the deadlock with incredible long range effort from the 20-year-old Marco Asensio. Real Madrid midfielder picked up the ball up around 30 yards from goals, looked up and immediately fired a brilliant shot towards Sergio Rico’s goal leaving Sevilla shot stopper helpless as the goal blazed into the top right corner.
Sevilla were made to work hard for the equaliser which came with a little less than five minutes from time in the first half.
As mentioned before, it was another debutant, the summer arrival Franco Vazquez who levelled the score for Rojiblancos. Vazquez took over from Vitolo’s flick and steered a volley into the bottom corner of Real Madrid goal. Former Palermo forward scored from his first ever shot at goal for Sevilla as Rojiblancos got back in the game just in time.
Real Madrid lost the initial momentum after the interval as Zinedine Zidane’s men struggle to make their presence known in the Tuesday’s UEFA Super Cup.
Los Blancos boss made a couple of changes introducing James Rodriguez, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema as he attempted to shake up his team, but Sevilla were dominant throughout the next 45 minutes. It was unusual to see Real Madrid going ten players behind the ball with Sevilla enjoying a lot of possession.
With no cut out chances to account for, Sevilla’s patience paid off with 20 minutes left on the clock.
Sergio Ramos’ reckless challenge on Vitolo in the box resulted in the penalty for Sevilla which was successfully taken by second-half sub Konoplyanka. Ukraine international displayed great composure and confidence as he coolly rolled the ball into the bottom corner sending Casilla to one side and ball to another.
Real Madrid lacked cutting edge in the final third of the pitch without Ronaldo, Bale and Kroos, but ZIdane’s men started to play with some urgency in the last ten minutes of the game pushing Sevilla further behind.
Sevilla struggled to get the ball out of their box in the final moments of the normal 90 minutes and it was again the captain, Sergio Ramos, who took centre stage for Real Madrid. Spanish international already scored two goals in two Champions League finals and has now added the Super Cup final to his list of achievements.
Lucas Vazquez lifted a cross into the box from the right and Ramos was left unmarked in the middle to nod a simple finish, level the score and send the game into extra time.
Los Blancos have set their sights on ending the game in their favour and have did their best to push Sevilla back and close the game as soon as possible avoiding the prospect of going into the penalty shootout.
Their work has been helped courtesy of Timothee Kolodziejczak who picked up his second yellow card for mistimed challenge on Lucas Vazquez.
Rojiblancos were forced to close it down a bit, allowing Real Madrid to build up their play. Zinedine Zidane’s men thought they had a third in as Sergio Ramos produced a stunning heading effort to put the ball in, but after a wave of celebration the goal was ruled out for an offensive foul.
Los Blancos did not remove foot of the throttle for the remainder of extra time with James Rodriguez getting close to scoring after Benzema’s lovely pass into the middle of the box and with Lucas Vazquez failing to nail it after finding himself one on one with the keeper.
Real Madrid kept firing towards Sevilla’s goal through Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez, Casemiro but Sevilla stood firm all the way until Carvajal decided to take matters into his own hands with an outstanding goal in the final moments of the game.
Konoplyanka was disposed by the Real Madrid player who pierced through Sevilla defence to place the ball into the net for a win in this extremely eventful match.
REAL MADRID: Casilla 6.5 – Carvajal 7.5, Varane 6.5, Ramos 7, Marcelo 7 – Kovacic 6.5 (Rodrugiez 6), Casemiro 7, Isco 6.5 (Modric 7.5) – Lucas 6.5, Morata 6 (Benzema 6), Asensio 7.5
Unused subs: Danilo, Nacho, Llorente, Yanez
SEVILLA: Rico 6.5 – Pareja 6.5, Carrico 6 (Rami 7), Kolodziejczak 7 – Kiyotake 7, Iborra 6 (Krwsnevitter 6.5), Vazquez 7.5 – N’Zonzi 7 – Mariano 7, Vietto 6 (Konoplyanka 7), Vitolo 7
Unused subs: Ben Yedder, Escudero, Sarabia, Soria
REFEREE: Milorad Mazic