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Atletico lift UEFA Super Cup

Atletico lift UEFA Super Cup
Atletico Madrid’s players celebrate with the trophy at the end of the UEFA Super Cup final at the Lillekula Stadium, Tallinn.
Tallinn, Aug 16 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/16/2018 1:39:40 PM IST

Atletico Madrid came out on top in extra time in the all-Madrid UEFA Super Cup final, beating rivals Real 4-2 in a thrilling encounter in Tallinn.

Diego Costa put Atletico ahead after just 52 seconds with a fine effort on the half volley from an acute angle, but Gareth Bale’s superb right-footed cross was finished off by Karim Benzema’s header on 27 minutes to level things up.

In Julen Lopetegui’s first competitive game in charge of Real, Sergio Ramos put his side 2-1 up from the spot on 63 minutes after Juanfran’s handball from a corner, but Costa got his second of the game 11 minutes from time, turning home from close range from Angel Correa’s centre.

Atletico turned it on in extra-time, with two world-class finishes from Saul Niguez (98) and Koke (104), meaning Real conceded four for the first time since Rafa Benitez was in charge of the club in 2015.

With Diego Simeone in the stands serving a touchline ban, last season’s Europa League winners Atletico took the lead in an instant as Costa latched onto his own flick on from Diego Godin’s long ball, getting the better of Raphael Varane before firing past Keylor Navas from near the byline.

Real were nearly level shortly after as Marco Asensio’s flick from Marcelo’s cross was turned away by Jan Oblak, but there was nothing the goalkeeper could do to deny Benzema’s far-post header from Bale’s fine cross from the right flank.

Moments later, Asensio curled a low effort inches wide as Real found their rhythm, and the European champions completed the turnaround in the second half after Juanfran had handled Toni Kroos’ corner.

Defender Ramos, the scourge of Atletico Madrid in recent years, stepped up and sent Oblak the wrong way.

Atletico forced extra-time through Costa again, scoring from under the crossbar after some fine work at the right byline by Correa as Real fell asleep, though Real could have won it in stoppage time as Marcelo made a hash of a scissor-kick from 10 yards.

Atletico went ahead again in extra-time through Saul’s brilliant volley, slamming into the top right corner from 20 yards after good work from Thomas Partey on the left and some help from Ramos and Varane’s sloppy play.

It was 4-2 just six minutes later through Koke, who brilliantly guided a first-time effort into the bottom corner with his right foot from Victor Vitolo’s ball across the face of the box.

Real now face Getafe on Sunday in their first La Liga clash, while Atletico are at Valencia on Monday.

 

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