Real Madrid relinquished the UEFA Super Cup title to neighbours Atletico Madrid after getting beaten 4-2 in Tallinn on Wednesday
The match was off to a blistering start as Diego Costa opened the scoring in the first minute itself with a thunderbolt of a shot. But, Real Madrid went on to restore parity before the half-hour mark as Karim Benzema nodded in from Gareth Bale’s cross.
Thereafter, Los Blancos went on to control much of the proceedings before grabbing a well deserved lead. Sergio Ramos scored from the spot after Juanfran had been penalised for a handball, and it looked like Real Madrid were on course to lift the UEFA Super Cup for the third successive year. But, it wasn’t to be.
Diego Costa first equalised with a close-range effort, which forced the game into extra-time. In the first half of added time, Los Rojiblancos went on to complete their splendid comeback, thanks to goals from Saul Niguez and Koke.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) August 15, 2018
And so, Julen Lopetegui lost his first competitive in-charge of Real Madrid, and in the process became the first Los Blancos boss to concede four or more goals in his first competitive game in charge since Michael Keeping against Celta Vigo in February 1948. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over his men.
Keylor Navas: 5/10
A night to forget for Navas, who will be looking over his shoulder after Wednesday. The Costa Rican could have done better to stop Costa’s first goal. The other three goals though, were nigh on impossible to stop. But, conceding four goals in the season opener is quite the inauspicious start to his battle with Thibaut Courtois to be the Real Madrid no. 1.
Dani Carvajal: 6/10
The best defender on show from Real Madrid on Wednesday. Carvajal was largely unperturbed by the threat of Thomas Lemar, only getting troubled late on when Atletico scored their fourth. But, the Spaniard must improve in his forays down the right flank, having failed to make much of an impact going forward.
Raphael Varane: 5/10
The Frenchman visibly looked rusty for the second successive game, making definitive mistakes for Los Rojiblancos‘ first and third goals. There were still flashes of brilliance from Varane, but he must improve his consistency if Real Madrid are to be more solid at the back over the course of the season.
Sergio Ramos: 5/10
A mixed bag of a performance from Sergio Ramos, who seemed to have sent Real Madrid on course for their third successive UEFA Super Cup triumph. At the back though, he blew hot and cold, beaten too easily by Costa for the first goal while also failing to keep the backline organised. Another player who needs to improve.
A typical Marcelo performance – dangerous going forward while being suspect at the back. At times, there was no catching the Brazilian, but he faded strongly post half-time. Defensively, he did little of note and was at fault for Atletico Madrid’s second goal.
Another player who needs to shake off the rustiness in his game. Casemiro was uncharacteristically off the pace at times on Wednesday. His distribution of the ball was even poorer, which only piled on the pressure on Real Madrid against an unrelenting Atletico.
Toni Kroos: 6/10
Kroos tried hard to provide Real Madrid the control during the game on Wednesday. But, the German maestro had too much on his plate at times, with Modric on the bench and Isco out of sorts. He also had to contribute a lot defensively, which often affected the creative side of his game. Modric can’t return soon enough.
Gareth Bale: 7/10
🏴 Gareth Bale in finals for Real Madrid:
🏆 Finals – 10
⚽️ Goals – 5
🎯 Assists – 4
Big game, Big player. pic.twitter.com/SrrKy9OX1z
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) August 16, 2018
The best player, by far, for Real Madrid on the night, Bale never stopped trying, even with Los Blancos having their backs against the wall. The Welshman delivered the exquisite cross that led to Benzema’s goal. The most potent threat for the European champions throughout and will certainly be the superstar for them this season.
Perhaps, the worst player on show for Real Madrid on the night. Isco was extremely wasteful on the ball and looks woefully short of fitness. A lot of work ahead for the playmaker in what will be a defining campaign in his stint at the Bernabeu.
Marco Asensio: 5/10
One of several players who need to step up ahead of what looks like a difficult season for Los Blancos. Asensio had his moments on the night, in particular when he came close to scoring early on with a cheeky flick. But, he faded as the game progressed, when he should have taken more responsibility.
Karim Benzema: 7/10
📊| Karim Benzema's goal last night meant he has now scored in every competition with Real Madrid:
LaLiga – 127
UEFA Champions League – 44
Copa del Rey – 16
FIFA Club World Cup – 3
Supercopa de España – 2
UEFA Super Cup – 1 pic.twitter.com/ooP0RSQNdH
— RMOnly (@ReaIMadridOnly) August 16, 2018
Talking of responsibility, that is exactly what Benzema is taking upon his experienced shoulders. Alongside Bale, Benzema will be one of the most important players for Real Madrid this season, and his goal would have given him a lot of confidence. Worked his socks off all through the game, and must be ably supported by the others behind him.
Luka Modric: 5/10
On in the second half, Modric was off pace for the most part and failed to provide the cutting edge. Still shaking off his rustiness, the World Cup finalist has a lot of work ahead of him.
Dani Ceballos: 5/10
Worked hard upon replacing Ceballos. But, the youngster wasn’t as effective as he would have liked.