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Real Madrid beats Atletico 5-3 in extra time thriller to reach Spanish Super Cup final



Real Madrid beats Atletico 5-3 in extra time thriller to reach Spanish Super Cup final
Google News Recentlyheard

Google News Recentlyheard

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (AP) After own goals, goalkeeping errors, and a milestone by Antoine Griezmann, Real Madrid defeated Atletico Madrid in a dramatic extra-time triumph in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

Madrid defeated its opponent 5-3 thanks to two late goals from Griezmann, who eclipsed Luis Aragonés as Atletico’s all-time leading scorer with 174.

Madrid will face either Barcelona or Osasuna in the final on Sunday, with both teams meeting in Riyadh on Thursday.

“It was a back-and-forth match,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti explained. “They performed well in the first half, and in the second, we were able to improve. Both teams performed quite well. It was a terrific contest; we prevailed because we had a little more energy in the end.”

Six minutes into the game, Atletico grabbed the lead with a header by Mario Hermoso after a cross by Griezmann, but Madrid regained the lead with Antonio Rüdiger in the 20th and Ferland Mendy in the 29th.

Griezmann netted his milestone goal in the 37th minute with a right-footed low drive from beyond the box following a clever change of direction to beat defenders. The France attacker has not scored in three games since matching Aragonés with two goals against Getafe in the Spanish league in December.

Rüdiger’s own goal in the 78th minute put Atletico ahead again, but Dani Carvajal equalized in the 85th, sending the game into extra time. Rüdiger’s own goal resulted after a mistake by Madrid goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga while attempting to retrieve a ball that had passed into the area. Kepa couldn’t hang on to the ball, which ricocheted off Rüdiger and back into the net.

Madrid took the lead late in extra time after Atletico defender Stefan Savic found his own net while trying to intercept a cross by Carvajal in the 116th. Brahim Díaz sealed the win in stoppage time by hitting the open net after Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak left his area to help the attack the other way. Díaz ran by Oblak near midfield and scored.

Díaz received the game’s sole yellow card for taking off his shirt during the celebration. Since 1974, no Madrid derby has ended without a yellow card.

It was the first of three meetings in less than a month between the Madrid rivals. They will also face off in the Copa del Rey next week at Atletico’s Metropolitano Stadium, and in the Spanish league in February at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Madrid has won its previous five games in all competitions and is on a 20-game undefeated streak. The team’s sole setback this season came in September to Atletico Madrid in the Spanish league.

Diego Simeone’s team went on a strong run following that home win against Madrid, advancing to the Champions League knockout round and climbing to near the top of the Spanish league, but it has only won two of its last six matches in all competitions and has dropped out of the Champions League places in the Spanish league.

Atletico and Madrid also met in the 2020 Super Cup final, with Madrid prevailing on penalties in what was the first time the competition was held in Saudi Arabia as part of a lucrative multi-year agreement between the teams and the Spanish Soccer Federation.

The audience remained mainly silent during Wednesday’s encounter, and there appeared to be jeers during the minute of silence in memory of German legend Franz Beckenbauer, who died this week.

The Saudi fans booed Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos, who has questioned elite players’ choice to play in Saudi Arabia.

The Super Cup’s unique “final four” format pairs the top two clubs from the Spanish league last season against the previous two Copa del Rey finalists.

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