Riyadh, Jan 11 (EFE).-
A header from Joselu that ended in an own goal by Stefan Savic four minutes before the end of extra time sent Real Madrid to the Spanish Super Cup final with an exciting 5-3 win over Atletico Madrid in the first semi-final in Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh on Wednesday.
Atletico, the only side to beat Real Madrid this season, took an unexpected lead through Mario Hermoso, who headed home a corner kick taken by Antoine Griezmann just six minutes into the game.
Antonio Rudiger scored from a set piece 15 minutes later to bring Real back into the contest before Ferland Mendy put them ahead with a surprising goal at the half-hour mark.
Dani Carvajal put a low ball into the danger zone, and the French full-back entered as if he were a genuine striker to convert the assist with a subtle touch that passed under Gimenez’s legs and slipped through John Oblak’s right post.
Griezmann placed a sharp shot at Kepa Arrizabalaga’s right post to equalize the game in the 37th minute, his 174th goal for Atletico, which made him the club’s all-time leading scorer.
In a game that had many twists and turns, Real went behind after Kepa collided with Alvaro Morata, which resulted in an own goal from Rudiger in the 78th minute that made the score line 2-3.
Atletico’s joy, however, lasted only seven minutes, as Carvajal scored from a rebound to send the game into extra time.
Joselu appeared to be Real Madrid’s hero after entering the game in extra time, replacing Rodrygo.
Four minutes before the end of regulation time, Savic turned his header into their own net to put Real decisively ahead, and Brahim Diaz added the fifth goal at the dead end, placing the ball in an empty net with Atletico desperately searching for an equalizer.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti praised Atletico despite the win.
“We are both very strong teams in my opinion. Atletico played very well and they came out very strongly with the ball in the first half,” he said.
“Griezmann is playing at such a high level and when Atletico had the ball it was difficult to get it back of them. They’re very well organised and they’re always tough games.”
Before the match, a minute of silence was observed for the death of former German international footballer Franz Beckenbauer.
In Sunday’s final, Madrid will meet either Barcelona or Osasuna, who face Thursday in the other semi-final.