Real Madrid 4-2 Valencia (24-Aug-08)

Real Madrid, The Champion of Champions

Real Madrid, The Champion of Champions

Hala Madrid or El Mundo De Real Madrid. Yeah I learned some spanish too ( though I have got no idea of what i just said there). Anyway, what a match it was and I cannot even begin to tell you how much character Real Madrid showed last night to win the Super Copa.

I mean, down to 9 men and needing 3 goals in about 45 minutes. How the hell can anyone stand up and get it done, but that is the beauty of football, just when you think you have seen everything, comes another thing which you haven’t.

Real Madrid won the Spanish Super Cup thanks to their drive, quality stock, strength and winning spirit. The match had a bad start for the Whites with Silva’s goal and the red card of Rafael van der Vaart. The second half was the complete opposite, with a penalty goal by Ruud van Nistelrooy and further strikes from Ramos, De la Red and Higuaín. Van Nistelrooy was also sent off in the last 45 minutes. With this new title on their shelves, Real Madrid have proven to be strong at the start of the campaign.

The only changes in the line-up for the return leg were Pepe, Robben and Guti, taking the places of Javi García, Robinho and De la Red, respectively. Guti was brought in to add some creativity (some Zidane, if you know what I mean) to the team’s attack.

Rafael van der Vaart had the first chance on goal of the evening with a somewhat harmless shot (1′). The team’s new signing put Hildebrand to the test four minutes later with a low shot from one of the corners of the box, but the German keeper managed to clear the ball.

The match was tight in the first half and Valencia took advantage of their superiority in midfield by putting pressure on Real Madrid’s playmakers. Neither Guti ( from whom I do not expect much especially when he starts a game) nor Van der Vaart found spaces to assist Raúl and Van Nistelrooy, and Robben proved incapable of dribbling past the three men that harassed him whenever he held the ball.

Raúl had the team’s most dangerous chance in thefirsthalf with a brilliant header he took from a corner kick served by Van der Vaart, forcing Hildebrand to show his saving skills once again (23′). Valencia soon tipped the scales towards their side when David Silva scored from a low shot from outside the box that grazed past the left post (32′).

But the worst was yet to come; referee Iturralde González sent off Rafael van der Vaart for tackling Mata late on the 37-minute mark which was absurd to say the least. It was Van Der Vaarts first challenge and you are not supposed to get red cards on first tackle so early in the game. Anyway, at that point it looked like it was all lost (at least to me).

Real Madrid cleared their minds during half-time and became more creative. Only three minutes into the second half, Guti served a free kick and Ramos headed it towards the far post, where Van Nistelrooy was ready to finish it off.

Van Nistelrooy scored the first goal of a remarkable Real Madrid come back

Van Nistelrooy scored the first goal of a remarkable Real Madrid come back

The ball was sent out by Raúl Albiol ( what a jerk he is to stoptheballfromgoingintothenet