Ramos settles dour Supercopa final
After a frustrating encounter, Sergio Ramos kept his cool to slot in the winning penalty as Real Madrid claimed the Supercopa de Espana.
Real Madrid won their 11th Supercopa de Espana title as Sergio Ramos tucked home the winning spot-kick to see off city rivals Atletico Madrid 4-1 in a penalty shootout after a dismal goalless draw.
With Atleti having failed to convert their opening two penalties, Madrid captain Ramos proved their nemesis again when he sent Jan Oblak the wrong way.
Federico Valverde and Alvaro Morata - against his former club - spurned the best opportunities of a dour 90 minutes at King Abdullah Sports City stadium on Sunday, though the quality did improve in extra-time.
However, a string of excellent saves from both goalkeepers, either side of Valverde's late red card, forced penalties, with Saul Niguez and Thomas Partey missing from the spot.
9 - Zinédine Zidane has won nine titles in his nine finals as @realmadriden manager, including two against Atlético de Madrid (Champions League 15/16 and Supercopa 2020). Master. pic.twitter.com/NuRKQZU9QO— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 12, 2020
Ramos kept his composure to take the title back to Santiago Bernabeu after Dani Carvajal, Rodrygo and Luka Modric also hit the target from 12 yards.
Despite a bright start in Jeddah in which Casemiro and Joao Felix both went close, the match failed to spark into life until after the restart when Luka Jovic flashed a low strike just wide.
Jovic was at the heart of a great chance soon after as his cross fell for Valverde in the six-yard box, only for the youngster to direct his header down onto his knee and out of play.
Morata, who rightly had claims for a penalty rejected in the first half, was guilty of similar profligacy with 10 minutes of normal time remaining, side-footing a tame effort straight at Thibaut Courtois after latching onto Kieran Trippier's pass.
Courtois was called into action again in extra-time, keeping out Vitolo's effort before making an instinctive save from a Morata volley.
Oblak had to make a double save to keep Madrid at bay at the other end, with Valverde then deservedly seeing red for a desperate professional foul on Morata and it took penalties to settle it after another two fine stops from Courtois.
But with Saul hitting the post and Courtois denying Partey, Ramos made no mistake to secure Madrid's first Supercopa triumph since 2017.
What does it mean? Madrid derby becoming painfully predictable
Six of the last seven Madrid derbies have now finished as draws, while the last five single-match finals between the city rivals have also gone to extra-time.
However, despite both sides coming into the match on the back of brilliant wins over Valencia and Barcelona respectively, the tactics employed by Zinedine Zidane and Diego Simeone saw the teams cancel each other out and draw 0-0 for the second time this season. With a third derby coming up in February, it seems the rivalry is in need of a classic encounter.
Courtois and Ramos come up trumps
Both goalkeepers were solid throughout but, having made some superb stops in extra-time, it was Madrid's Courtois who shone in the shootout, pulling off a wonderful save to deny Partey and set the stage for captain Ramos to seal the victory.
Valverde fluffs his lines
Madrid midfielder Valverde has enjoyed a brilliant breakthrough season so far, though he had a match to forget. After missing a golden chance to put Madrid ahead, a miserable night was compounded when he saw red in extra-time for scything down Morata.
It is back to LaLiga action for both of these teams next week. Madrid welcome their former coach Julen Lopetegui – now in charge of Sevilla – for a home clash on Saturday, before Atleti face Eibar at Ipurua.
- Journalist at JJA Sport Studio: Football / Soccer
- Leader columnist department