Ronaldo-less Madrid win SuperCup

Real Madrid consolidated on their first leg 3-1 advantage  over arch rivals Barcelona, beating them 2-0 at Santiago Bernabeu for an aggregate 5-1 victory to lift the Spanish SuperCup for the tenth time..

Marco Asensio who scored a sensational blast on Sunday, had an encore, finding the Barcelona net in the 4th minute. Karim Benzema added the second goal for Real Madrid in the 38th minute.

There were no goals in the second half, though several attempts on either side hit the woodwork.

Madrid, playing without Gareth Bale, Isco and Ronaldo were  still able to dominate an Iniesta-less Barcelona in the match, 53-47, making people wonder whether the Catalans  were yet to get over the loss of Neymar to PSG.

Both Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were a shadow of themselves on the frontline as they could not seem to find a way around the Madrid defence.

Madrid also had more shots at goal than Barcelona.

The SuperCup is Madrid’s second trophy of the season, having also won the UEFA SuperCup last week, beating Manchester United.

Madrid are now two championships short in the Spanish SuperCup to be at par with Barcelona, who have 12 titles.

For history making Coach Zinedine Zidane, tonight was yet another great moment.  As coach in 19months, his team had won 7 trophies, including 2 UEFA champions league trophies.

“We’ve won two significant trophies against two big rivals. It stands us in good stead to start the season. Now LaLiga begins and it’s going to be even more difficult”, Zidane said.

“I’m pleased with how we’re doing things, and in particular with how we’re playing. The first 15 or 20 minutes were spectacular in pressing high up and how we kept hold of the ball. It was a very good first half. In the second we had to dig in a bit because this opposition can cause you problems, that’s to be expected. We wanted to play just as we did and when things go to plan you’re happy. The players were fantastic. We’re not going to get euphoric, this is a long-run thing and we’ll enjoy the moment.

Praise for the squad
“It’s not just Asensio, everyone’s doing a great job and working well. They all do what’s expected of them. Now we’re starting over. We’re going to have to show it again in LaLiga. It’s going to be a difficult season against tough opposition. The players are in great shape and they know what they want to achieve. It’s a group who want to keep winning matches and trophies. I’m enjoying all that’s happening now. I’m thrilled with Marco’s goal because I love football and when I see a goal like that I’m impressed, just like everyone who enjoys the game.

“This team is hungry and you see that when we play. This is a great way to start, everyone is content. We are going into a long season, but we are ready”. (NAN)

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