26 September 2012
Real Madrid won the 34th Santiago Bernabéu Trophy. Led by a brilliant Kaká, who was chosen as Man of the Match and became the only player to score a hat-trick in this tournament, the Whites didn't only defeat Millonarios in brilliant fashion but also made history twice: they achieved the biggest goal-fest and won their eighth consecutive title. Callejón and Morata, each with a brace, and Benzema contributed to the win and the best possible tribute to Alfredo Di Stéfano. It's the third consecutive victory for the Whites, who remain unbeaten in their stadium this season.
With a completely different line-up from that Mourinho sent out two days earlier in Vallecas (only Özil and Khedira, who went on in the second half, participated in the win against Rayo), Real Madrid went out to defend their Trophy. They only needed the first quarter of an hour to prove it. In fifteen minutes they enjoyed five clear opportunities at goal and put themselves ahead on the scoreboard. The Whites completely bowled over their rival, who were defenceless in the face of the home team's onslaught. Kaká, who was particularly active, sent their first warning of what was to come before the first minute of play was up. The Brazilian stole the ball after Millonarios kicked off, he advanced with help from Higuaín but wasn't able to beat the goalkeeper in the one-on-one. Three minutes later he once again displayed his elegant and unstoppable stride, but his left-footed shot from inside the box went wide.
Before there were even five minutes on the clock along came the third warning, this time even closer to going in. A cross shot from Higuaín got past Delgado but hit the crossbar. Morata and Callejón also joined in, enjoying attempts at goal. The former's interception of Torres in the 7th was worthy of more but his shot was met by Franco, and the latter's one-on-one after an excellent pass from Özil went to Delgado's gloves in the 12th. Such was the lead up to the match's opening goal. Higuaín overcame the player marking him with a step-over in the left wing, he entered the area, observed Kaká's arrival and sent him a left-footed pass so that the Brazilian could put their first goal on the scoreboard in the 14th.
One of this sport's maxims was fulfilled. Once the first goal was netted they just kept coming... four more before half-time. Callejón scored the second, making the most of an excellent assist from Higuaín in the 23rd. The Argentinian, who was captain, had set up the first two goals of the match. A marvellous play two minutes later was worthy of a better finish. The author of the second goal, Özil, Higuaín and Kaká all had a hand and Callejón shot from a volley. The visiting keeper's save was in keeping with the spectacular combination.
He wasn't able to repeat the performance with the other three goals that arrived before the end of the first half. Morata scored the third and fourth in the 32nd and 36th. For his first goal he kept a cool head, enduring the player marking him and defeating Delgado. He finished the brace with a shot across goal after a stepover from Kaká and the subsequent assist from the player chosen as Man of the Match. It was the Brazilian himself who scored the fifth in the 38th, cleverly using his back to get in before Lewis Ochoa, who tried to clear the ball from the goal line. The total came to five goals in a first half to remember.
The masterclass continued in the second half
Benzema, Modric, Fabinho and Carvalho substituted Morata, Nacho, Varane and Higuaín at half-time and the local team's fluidity of play didn't change a bit. The Whites continued to enjoy opportunities at goal and their dominance led to the sixth goal of the match, the third in Kaká's personal tally. Coentrão was knocked over by Delgado in the area and the Brazilian was responsible for taking the penalty shot in the 60th.
Eight minutes later Callejón scored his second, the seventh of the match. After a through ball from Benzema up the right wing and a cross from the French player to just outside the area, Álex cleverly saw the Real Madrid ‘21’ arrive and surprised the visitors' defence letting the ball continue past him. The academy player finished off the play, shooting into the net. It wasn't the last goal of the night. That was scored by Benzema with a shot across goal in the 79th to conclude the goal-fest and the best possible tribute to Alfredo Di Stéfano.