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Madridistas reach Super Cup final

MATCH REPORT. 11/01/2023. Rodrigo Salamanca. Photographer: Antonio Villalba/Helios de la Rubia

Real Madrid beat Valencia on penalties and will defend their trophy against the winners of Betis-Barcelona on Sunday.

Real Madrid overcame Valencia in the the semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup and will be defending their trophy in Sunday’s final in Riyadh. Ancelotti’s men took the lead when Benzema converted a penalty, but Samuel Lino equalised right after the second half kicked off. No more goals followed and the madridistas prevailed in the penalty shoot-out to book their place in the final where they will take on the winners from the Betis-Barcelona clash.

Madrid created all the chances in the opening 15 minutes of play. The first came after 5 minutes when Militão met a corner by Kross but his header was off target. Five minutes later, Valverde played in Rodrygo, but the forward fired over the crossbar. Next, Benzema went close on 14’. The Frenchman’s mazing run saw him beat three defenders but he was unable to finish with a goal. Moments after, Valverde fizzed in a right-footed effort which skimmed Mamardashvili’s right-hand post.  

Benzema breaks the deadlock
Valencia responded on 19’. Courtois had to be sharp to deny a Cavani header after the forward got on the end of a cross from Gayá. The Whites continued to go in search of the first goal and Vini Jr. almost managed one on the half-hour mark. The Brazilian collected the ball in midfield, dummied to pull away from Thierry and drove towards the area, but his strike was blocked by the defence just in time. Ancelotti’s men kept plugging away and eight minutes later they got their reward. Militão played a sublime long ball over the top for Benzema to run onto and drive into the box. Cömert brought down the striker and the referee awarded the spot-kick. The Frenchman dusted himself down and converted the penalty – his sixth goal in the Spanish Super Cup.

Video.1-1(4-3): Madridistas reach Super Cup final

Valencia drew level just after the break. Lato crossed from the right and Lino made it 1-1. Real Madrid found themselves on the back foot and hit back twice. First, Mamardashvili cleared a shot from Benzema after a nice combination with Rodrygo, and in the next move, Nacho headed wide from a corner kick by Kroos. From then on, the tempo dropped and neither team managed to create any danger until 88 minutes in when Ancelotti's men tried to break the deadlock with a looping header from Benzema. In stoppage time, Vini Jr. picked up a loose ball in the six-yard box after a rebound from the Valencia defence, but Mamardashvili blocked the shot to maintain the scoreline.
 
Extra time
With just thirty minutes to go, a place in the Super Cup final was still at stake. Madrid had the clearest chance right at the start of extra time. Kroos crossed and Rüdiger found Vini Jr. on the edge of the area; the Brazilian took aim, but his shot was well saved by the opposition goalkeeper.  Mamardashvili was again in the thick of the action when Kroos' right-footed shot from outside the area was blocked (104th minute). Valencia came close to taking the lead six minutes later through Fran Pérez, but he was denied by a great save from Courtois. Before the end of extra time, Asensio tried his luck from a free-kick. In the penalty shoot-out, Real Madrid came out on top and booked their place in the final of the Spanish Super Cup.
 
PENALTIES
0-1: Cavani, goal.
1-1: Benzema, goal.
1-1: Cömert, missed.
2-1: Modrić, goal.
2-2: Ilaix Moriba, goal.
3-2: Kroos, goal.
3-3: Guillamón, goal.
4-3: Asensio, goal.
4-3: Gayà, saved by Courtois.

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