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Real Madrid reaches Spanish Super Cup final after thrilling extra time win over Atlético Madrid

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Real Madrid reaches Spanish Super Cup final after thrilling extra time win over Atlético Madrid
After overcoming Atlético Madrid to advance to the Spanish Super Cup final and defeating its local rival 5-3 in extra time, Real Madrid is still on track to win a clean sweep of trophies this season.

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Mario Hermoso gave Atlético the lead after just six minutes, but Real responded with two goals in ten minutes from Ferland Mendy and Antonio Rüdiger to take a 2-1 lead.
Eight minutes before halftime, Antoine Griezmann tied the score once more for Atlético with a record 174th goal, surpassing great forward Luis Aragones to take the top spot all time in goal scoring for the team.

The game’s fifth goal did not come until the 77th minute, and it was Rüdiger’s own goal that gave Atlético the seeming advantage following some horrendous goalkeeping from Kepa Arrizabalaga and the Germany international.

But with six minutes left, Dani Carvajal, who turns nine on Thursday, firmly smashed home the equalizing goal after a string of last-gasp blocks inside the Colchonero penalty area had kept Real at bay.
In extra time, Carvajal then took the lead by setting up Joselu, who just sufficiently diverted the ball with his head to give Stefan Savić an own goal.

Stoppage time saw Los Blancos clear a corner kick, and Brahim Díaz dash past Atleti goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who had come up for the corner, to collect the ball and finish into an empty net from a distance, as Atletico poured everyone forward in search of an equalizer.

“The team never gives up,” Carlo Ancelotti told reporters after the game, per Real. “We might lose today, but we never give up. It is the DNA of Real Madrid and a great learning experience for young players.

“The squad is thrilled, and we must maintain our composure because it was an intensely emotional game. The goal is to win the title, and there are ninety minutes remaining to do so.
The Italian continued, “I have a lot of faith in the squad because those who have come on from the bench also give confidence.”

“Everyone in the team is highly engaged and driven. That’s the only strategy that works for these kinds of games.
The Spanish Super Cup, which was formerly played in a single final, was moved to Saudi Arabia in 2019 and expanded to include four teams.

During Wednesday’s game, real Madrid player Toni Kroos was jeered each time he touched the ball. This was reportedly in retaliation to the World Cup winner’s remarks against Saudi Arabia’s poor domestic league and human rights record.

In August 2023, Kroos refused to move to the Saudi Pro League (SPL) in Saudi Arabia, telling Sports Illustrated that the country’s human rights record is “the one thing that would stop me from such a move.” He also said that players choosing to play in the SPL is “a decision for money and against football.”

The city rivals play each other three times in three separate competitions over the course of three weeks, with this match being the first of three meetings.
Before they face off for a third time in the league on February 4, the first rematch takes place as early as next Thursday in the Copa del Rey round of 16.
Diego Simeone, the manager of Atlético, asserted that Thursday’s encounter “isn’t a rematch, it’s a new game.”
After the game, Simeone declared, “We played a good match.” “I believe we could have won the tie in ninety minutes; we just need to become familiar with certain situations that arise during the game.”

“We competed well, they [Real] know that we know how to compete, and hopefully we can improve in the aspects we need to improve in [before Thursday’s match].” “We did a lot of things well; other things that the team needs to improve in and that depends a lot on our work.”
Real Madrid will now face either Barcelona or Osasuna in Sunday’s final.

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