Sports Desk, Jan 15 (EFE). –
Vinicius Junior scored a sensational hat-trick in the first half as Real Madrid thrashed Barcelona 4-1 to lift the Spanish Super Cup at Al-Awwal Park in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday.
Madrid had a score to settle after losing the same fixture against Barcelona last year, and they did more than that in a match that they dominated insultingly from the opening whistle.
Ten minutes into the game, Real Madrid was already 2-0 ahead thanks to a double from Vinicius against a Barça that, from the first attack, melted in defense like sugar in a cup of coffee.
Robert Lewandowski scored for Barcelona, but that came only as a consolation for the Catalan side, who were no match for Real Madrid and had defender Ronald Araujo sent off in the second half.
Rodrygo rounded off Real Madrid’s victory as the Madrid side lifted the tournament for the 14th time.
“We wanted to win the final. We deserved to win it,” coach Carlo Ancelotti said, according to Real Madrid’s website.
“We got off to a good start and took advantage of the high line at the beginning.Vinicius was in extraordinary form, and from there another game started. Barcelona controlled the ball and tried to look for opportunities,” he added.
Barcelona coach Xavi vowed to bounce back from the defeat.
“We simply weren’t up to the level required of a competition like this. We’re furious with ourselves, and we need to improve a lot if we are going to fight for titles this season,” he said on the Barcelona website.
Vinicius, back from injury only recently, set the mood in the contest, dribbling past Inaki Pena to slot home a Jude Bellingham pass only in the seventh minute.
Three minutes later, the Brazilian was on the score sheet again, as Dani Carvajal broke the Barça defense to put a ball on the right wing to Rodrygo, who crossed low to the far post for his compatriot to make it 2-0.
Ferran Torres hit the crossbar with Barcelona’s first chance before the quarter-hour mark.
Real Madrid felt comfortable at the back, waiting for their opportunity to end the final on the counterattack.
Barcelona had possession but only managed to disturb Madrid with two runs by Ferran Torres on the left wing.
But then the Lewandowski of old appeared to convert a headed clearance by Ferland Mendy with a volley from the edge of the box that, in the 33rd minute, made it 2-1.
However, the joy for Barca lasted only six minutes as the referee pointed out a penalty after Araujo grabbed Vinicius, who was preparing to head another cross from Carvajal.
Pena guessed the direction of the Brazilian’s shot, but he could not stop the ball, enabling Vinicius to complete an unforgettable Classico hat-trick.
Xavi decided to make a triple change at the hour mark to shake up the match, bringing on Joao Felix, Fermin Lopes, and Lamine Yamal, only for Madrid to extend their advantage moments later.
Once again, it was Vinicius who controlled a cross from Federico Valverde on the left wing with his thigh to put the ball in the heart of the area.
Jules Kounde made a bad clearance to give it to Rodrygo, who scored Madrid’s fourth goal.
Araujo, powerless against the whirlwind of white, saw a second yellow card for kicking Vinicius shortly after to get the marching order, adding insult to the woes of Barcelona, who played the last 20 minutes with 10 men. EFE