PLUCKY LITTLE REAL MADRID WIN THE SUPER CUP AFTER BEATING SEVILLA 2-0
That’s right, against all the odds, they’ve done it! Cristiano Ronaldo got both goals and Real Madrid have another trophy. Thanks for reading and emailing. Night.
90 min+2: Sevilla are finishing strongly. But it won’t make a difference.
90 min+1: We’ll have three minutes of added time.
90 min: Reyes’s corner is headed out as far as Figueiras, whose volley from 18 yards is deflected inches wide.
89 min: Krychowiack cracks a fierce shot goalwards from 20 yards. Casillas beats it behind for a corner.
88 min: If there’s one player Madrid need, it’s Falcao.
86 min: Asier Illarramendi replaces Luka Modric.
85 min: Ronaldo is on again. “I watched a Luton Town game with my Dad and young cousin,” says John Galt. “Upon seeing Steve McNulty during the warmup my cousin mercilessly taunted my Dad about the quality of his team’s players. 90 minutes later, Luton win, McNulty gets man of the match, my Dad is smug, my cousin is amazed and pub footballers everywhere feel they still have a chance of making it.\”
84 min: While the physio checks that Ronaldo is okay, World Cup semi-finalist Marcelo replaces Coentrao. And Figueiras is on for Coke.
82 min: Bale slides Ronaldo in but he’s denied a hat-trick by a wonderful saving challenge from Krychowiak. But as he makes the challenge, there appears to be a clash of heads with Ronaldo. Both players are down and Ronaldo is receiving treatment.
79 min: Jose Antonio Reyes checks that there aren’t Neville brothers lurking in the shadows and then comes on to replace Denis Suarez.
77 min: Ramos has injured himself after fluffing an attempted overhead kick. He might have banged his head.
76 min: Clown and Clown are involving themselves in some nonsense. You know who I mean.
75 min: You have to admire the way Madrid have bought all these world-class players. That takes vision.
73 min: Modric skelps a volley over from 20 yards.
72 min: Here’s Aspas. Here’s Aspas. Scheming. Thinking. Probing. Giving it back to Madrid. Meanwhile Rodriguez’s evening is over. On comes Isco.
70 min: Aspas hasn’t taken a corner yet. We live in hope.
67 min: Bale speeds up the right flank, moves on to his left foot and chips a pass across the area to Rodriguez in space. He takes it down and then belts a swerving volley goalwards, only for Beto to deny him a debut goal with an excellent save.
66 min: It’s Aspas time. He replaces Parreu. Madrid really should let Sevilla have a corner as quickly as possible.
64 min: Just as it seems the ball had squirmed away from him, Benzema drills a low shot through the bodies, bringing a cracking save out of Beto. The rebound comes to Coentrao but he’s offside.
63 min: Bale spanks a free-kick into the wall. How embarrassing to be Gareth Bale right now!
60 min: Sevilla are gamely plugging away but they can’t match the quality of these opponents.
59 min: You know, I think that Madrid will fancy their chances of finishing above Sevilla this season.
57 min: NT Sky’s idea to spray divers has a fan. “This is one of the best ideas for football I have ever heard,” says Martin Scott. “But why stop there? If a manager screams at a referee’s assistant near the dugouts his mouth could get sprayed shut for five minutes, while another referee’s assistant screams in his lug hole non-stop. It could be called the sing bin.”
54 min: “Kroos to Benzema to Ronaldo - GOAL!” says David Holmes. “All of which pales into insignificance given that Leeds are actually ahead of Accrington Stanley by 2-0.”
David Hockaday Football Genius.
53 min: Toni Kroos is booked for a foul.
52 min: “I’m with Holmes (40th minute entry),” says JR in Illinois. “The MK Dons-Wimbledon game is bigger than this SuperCup nonsense. It’s better, too. Wait until you see the goal by McFadzean. Also, though I have no idea how, I somehow made it this far in my life without knowing of or seeing Adebayo Akinfenwa. Upon seeing him I immediately googled him and learned that he is 5’10” and weighs 189 pounds. No way is that dude 189 pounds. He looks like he’s about one biscuit shy of 289 pounds.”
Wait till you see Luton Town’s Steve McNulty.
GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Sevilla (Ronaldo, 49 min)
Cristiano Ronaldo scores again. Some things never change. He will never stop scoring. Although Beto might be annoyed he’s let this one in. Ronaldo was found on the left of the area by a sharp pass from Benzema and hammered a rising shot towards the far corner with his left foot. Beto got two hands to it but couldn’t deal with the power and this game is over as a contest.
47 min: “Having just seen the magic spray used by Mr Clattenburg, it sparked discussion with my father in law about eradicating cheating,” says NT Sky. “We agreed that the if someone dives they should be sprayed and until it fades away, other players can foul you with no consequence. I think that is modern football now sorted, should I invoice FIFA directly?”
46 min: Off we go again. More football. Evening Jacob. “For me, the lasting legacy of Brazil 2014 is pronouncing James as Ham-ez,” says Simon McMahon. “It makes players twice as good at a stroke. I fully expect Ham-ez Morrison, Ham-ez McArthur and Ham-ez Forrest to propel Scotland to Euro 2016.”
Half-time: Real Madrid 1-0 Sevilla
Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal separates the two sides. See you in 15 minutes.
45 min: Suarez, who has been impressive, wins a free-kick just outside the Madrid area on the left after being pulled back by Carvajal, who is booked. The free-kick is cleared.
42 min: Vitolo is booked for clumping Ronaldo.
40 min: Bale dashes inside from the right and unleashes a drive that is deflected a few yards wide by Fazio.“This, right here, right now, in this current moment in time, is the biggest game in the world,” says David Holmes, quoting me. “What? When MK Dons are playing AFC Wimbledon in the League Cup? Get a life.” This is my life. This is all I do.
38 min: Andy Townsend just said “anywhere in and around that”. It’s like the World Cup never went away.
35 min: Is it an overreaction to insist that Rodriguez is sold immediately?
34 min: James Rodriguez almost gifts Sevilla the most farcical equaliser in ... well, not of all time, but certainly in the history of the Super Cup. He tried to hoof the ball away inside the Madrid area but instead only succeeded in hoicking it straight up into the air. Bacca promptly made a nuisance of himself and the ball broke to Carrico, six yards out, but he somehow let Madrid off the hook, shooting too close to Casillas, who was able to deflect it over.
33 min: They should mix the teams up at half-time, make it fairer. I mean, this is a bit silly.
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Sevilla (Ronaldo, 30 min)
Gareth Bale with the assist, Cristiano Ronaldo with the goal. How are you supposed to stop that? Bale swung a cross in from the left and there was Ronaldo to cushion it in at the far post. Sevilla have been done by the old switch-your-wingers trick. Works every time.
26 min: Beto makes a fine save to deny Ronaldo. Benzema brought down a cross-field pass on the right effortlessly and then slid a pass into the area to Ronaldo, who had his back to goal. There seemed to be no danger but a stunning turn away from his marker brought him a sight of goal, only for Beto to block his firm drive. The resulting corner does not lead to a goal.
24 min: “In Turkey, this game is advertised as “The game to decide the best team in Europe’,” says Philip West. “I rather thought we had decided that in May – are there any other countries that pretend this game is more than a pre-season warm-up? Obviously bragging rights are something, but surely no one thinks this game is worth a jot? Of course, when Galatasaray won it my opinion went down like a lead balloon with the locals – but still…”
This, right here, right now, in this current moment in time, is the biggest game in the world.
22 min: Coentrao’s brilliant cross from the byline sails over Beto’s head but the Sevilla goalkeeper is relieved to see Fazio head over his own bar from about a yard out with Benzema waiting.
21 min: The corner is dropped right on top of Casillas, whose unconvincing flap leads to a scramble in the six-yard box. Eventually Parreu prods a volley over from the edge of the area.
20 min: Now Sevilla threaten! It’s opening up now. Carvajal puts his own team in trouble with a poor pass straight to Vitolo, who dribbles clear on the left before shooting from a tight angle. Casillas parries his effort behind at the near post.
18 min: This is the closest either side have come. Rodriguez, who has been quiet so far, escapes down the left as Madrid break and whips a superb cross to the far post. It takes out both defenders in the middle, has Beto scrambling all over the place and drops to a sliding Bale, who tries to turn it in with the outside of his left boot from six yards. He’s denied by a combination of Beto and two Sevilla defenders.
17 min: Fazio has a saunter up the left but as he does so, Carvajal brings down Krycowiak off the ball, the cheeky git. Sevilla aren’t happy.
15 min: The corner is cleared but Madrid continue to attack. Ramos nods down to Bale, whose volley from 18 yards is deflected wide. Again the corner is dealt with comfortably enough.
14 min: Ronaldo steps up to take the free-kick. He struts up, shoots and then screams for a penalty, claiming that the ball hit a Sevilla hand in the wall. Mark Clattenburg says no and awards a corner as the dipping ball fizzes inches over.
13 min: Ronaldo had started through the middle but now he pops up on the left, skipping inside and winning a free-kick on the edge of the area after being brought down by Coke. Ronaldo looks pained. But he’s got a great opportunity here.
12 min: Carvajal knocks a pass inside to Bale, who drops the shoulder and tries to bend one into the far corner from 25 yards. It takes a deflection and flies not too far wide but the corner comes to nothing.
11 min: Sevilla are sitting very deep.
9 min: Bale turns up the pace for the first time, trying to charge on to a clever reverse pass from Ronaldo, only to fall under a challenge just outside the area. Mark Clattenburg tells him to get up and asks him what the point of all those summer weights was if he can’t be stronger in those positions? Then he points to his hair and asks if Bale likes it.
8 min: The first foul of many by that the ever-oafish Pepe, who bumps Bacca to the ground on the left.
7 min: I demand goals, I want goals, I deserve goals, I want fireworks, I want razzamatazz and showbiz swagger and vanishing spray, and at the moment it’s got all the intensity of a Community Shield friendly.
5 min: Why aren’t Madrid winning yet? Ancelotti is a disgrace.
4 min: The first glimpse of James Rodriguez and I can confirm that he’s not crying any more. Soon the ball comes to Ronaldo, 30 yards from goal. He shoots, of course he shoots, but it’s straight at Beto.
2 min: But it’s Sevilla who are immediately on the attack, former Manchester City legend Denis Suarez (two years, zero appearances) pinching the ball on the right and forcing Modric to concede a corner. Ramos heads it away.
The sun is shining and we are off! Real Madrid get the game underway, kicking from right to left, and it has just struck me that they’ve missed a trick by not selecting just 10 players as a Decima tribute. They won La Decima, see. It was a big deal. They’re really pleased to have won La Decima.
The teams trot out, led into the light by Mark Clattenburg’s hair. Real Madrid are wearing lovely tracksuit top. Sevilla are all in red.
“Give me more on Moreno, who give a flying …. about this cup I want to know about Moreno,” says Lorenzo Brewer. “More on Moreno More on Moreno. ps. I am making Ragu.”
I have seen Moreno play once and he was good. Also noteworthy is his fear of escalators and love of Pointless.
“I thought it was always played on a Friday,” says Mark Knight. “Also, isn’t it usually at the end of August, rather than in the middle? I fear UEFA have some Machiavellian motive for all this because otherwise it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.”
What else would you be doing tonight?
HOW TO TAKE A CORNER WITH ... IAGO ASPAS.
Angel Di Maria on the bench. Sami Khedira nowhere to be seen. Iker Casillas in goal.
You’ll be wanting some teams. The most notable news is that set-piece specialist Iago Aspas is on the bench for Sevilla, which will come as a disappointment to the many fans who have flocked to the Cardiff City Stadium to see the Spaniard strut his stuff.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao; Modric, Kroos; Bale, Rodriguez, Ronaldo; Benzema. Subs: Navas, Varane, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Di Maria, Isco, Illarramendi.
Sevilla: Beto; Fazio, Navarro, Pareja, Coke; Krychowiak, Carriço, Suárez, Vitolo, Parreu; Bacca. Subs: Barbosa, Figueiras, Samperio, Iborra, Luismi, Reyes, ASPAS.
Some actual news for you. It appears that the Sevilla left-back, Alberto Moreno, is going to be the Liverpool left-back imminently.
Evening. The return of football seems to have caught everyone by surprise. That’s understandable. The World Cup took a lot out of us and we barely had time to pause for breath, relax on the beach and quite possibly attempt to start a new life on a desert island before it was time to talk shop again. As such, a lot of people don’t quite seem ready for the start of the new season. Indeed an unnamed colleague turned to me at the end of Sunday’s Community Shield and asked me what the score was.
“3-0,” I said. A blank look. “To Arsenal.” And he was not alone in that. I freely admit that it took me a long time to realise that Samir Nasri had gone off at half-time. Insert your own gags.
But here, this should be exciting tonight. Gareth Bale, big, bulky, scarily muscular Gareth Bale back in Cardiff after a summer apparently spent guzzling protein shakes and FEELING THE BURN BRO. And it’s not just about Bale. He’s just one cog in the Real Madrid machine and the European champions have celebrated finally ending their La Decima quest by taking their heed from history and signing yet more Galacticos. Tonight we see James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos in those famous white shirts for the first time. There’s a chance Radamel Falcao could be on his way too (FFP? What’s FFP?) and we haven’t even mentioned Cristiano Ronaldo yet. Oh me, oh my.
Oh. Sevilla, Europa League stars, are also playing.