Dominant Madrid crush Barcelona to win Super Cup
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[August 17, 2017]
By Rik Sharma
MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid won the
Spanish Super Cup for the 10th time with a 2-0 win over rivals
Barcelona at a joyous Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday to complete a
5-1 aggregate victory that underlined their new status as Spain's
Marco Asensio followed up his brilliant late goal in Sunday's first
leg with a stunning effort from 30 meters in the fourth minute that
proved a punishing blow for the Catalans.
Karim Benzema struck before halftime to seal the victory and
Barcelona left the Spanish capital with home supporters' chants of
'champions' ringing in their ears.
Real, last season's Spanish and European champions, dominated
throughout, toying with Ernesto Valverde’s side and showing no sign
they were missing suspended forward Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale
who was on the bench.
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both hit the woodwork but it was a
bleak display for Barcelona, leaving Valverde with plenty of holes
to patch before the start of the league this weekend.
“We’re not in our best moment, not on the level of the team or the
level of the club. It’s the first time we’ve felt Madrid are
superior,” Barcelona defender Gerard Pique told reporters.
Real, meanwhile, have started where they left off last season, by
adding more silverware to their bursting trophy cabinet.
They clinched the European Super Cup last week with a 2-1 victory
over Manchester United in Macedonia, adding to an already remarkable
haul for coach Zinedine Zidane since he took over in Jan. 2016.
With Ronaldo banned for shoving the referee in the first leg,
Asensio was given a starting spot and made an instant impact.
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Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their second goal
with team mates REUTERS/Juan Medina
The 21-year-old curled a brilliant strike into the top left corner
from distance that left keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen bewildered.
“The first was beautiful, but this one was, too. The other was
harder because of the path (it took),” Asensio told reporters.
“I’m going to work to have the maximum minutes possible out there.
I’m very happy on a personal level and for the collective, too."
The second goal had been coming, with Lucas Vazquez striking the
post minutes earlier, and it eventually arrived when Marcelo sent in
a low cross which Benzema finished with aplomb in the 38th minute.
After that Madrid controlled the game, stroking the ball around
their opponents and conserving energy for the challenges ahead.
“We have started the season well, there’s a long way to go,” said
Zidane. “It will be very difficult but we are happy. The first half
(Reporting by Rik Sharma; Editing by Toby Davis)
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