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UEFA Super Cup 2018/19, Real Madrid 2-4 Atletico Madrid: Five things we learnt from the game

UEFA Europa League champions Atletico Madrid beat UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid 4-2 in the UEFA Super Cup clash at the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn, Estonia. Atletico got off to a 1-0 lead inside the first minute before Real Madrid came back by scoring two goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos. Atletico took the game to the extra time by scoring in the 79th minute, thanks to Costa's second of the night.

It was just one-way traffic in the extra-time as Atletico scored two goals (one each from Saul and Koke) without conceding to run away with the title. Let us take a look at five talking points from the game.

#1 La Liga season is going to be lit

La Liga has often been a two-horse race between holders Barcelona and their arch-rivals Real Madrid. Over the last few seasons, Atletico Madrid have been competing against both these teams and often finished short of the championships.

 

Given Atletico's squad depth with the latest signings slowly settling in, Diego Simeone's men will pose a challenge to both the La Liga giants. Real Madrid will be under a lot of pressure to deliver under their new manager without their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. Barcelona, on the other hand, go into the tournament as favourites and the Catalans will look to have another consistent season and go all the way yet again.

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#2 Diego Costa's brace

Diego Costa vs. Real Madrid

A world-class performance in the first competitive game of the year – Diego Costa showed why his physicality, aggression, and eye for goal are too much to handle. Unstoppable. pic.twitter.com/VuzGPb2LPo

— EiF Video (@EiF_Highlights) August 16, 2018

Diego Costa was a man on a mission against Real Madrid last night. He started off the match by scoring a goal in just 49 seconds as he got hold of a long ball from Diego Godin and nod it past both the Real Madrid central defenders Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane to put the ball at the back of the net from a very tight angle.

 

He was in the game again as he scored the equalizer for La Rojiblancos in the 79th minute where he finished an easy chance from a close range and took the game into extra-time. Apart from his goals, Costa was seen bullying Sergio Ramos during the match much to the delight of Jurgen Klopp and all the Liverpool fans.

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#3 World Cup stars not yet match ready

@AntoGriezmann's 2018:

UEFA Europa League
FIFA World Cup
UEFA Super Cup

Silver Boot at World Cup
Bronze Ball at World Cup pic.twitter.com/jeY60xYFlI

— SPORF (@Sporf) August 16, 2018

France's World Cup winning trio of Antoine Griezmann, Lucas Hernandez (both Atletico Madrid) and Real Madrid's Raphael Varane started for their respective teams in the UEFA Super Cup and were far from their best. Griezmann was substituted just before the 60th minute while both Varane and Lucas were on the field for 120 minutes.

 

The lack of pre-season was clearly visible as all three of them struggled to give their 100%. Varane, in particular, was sloppy and was at fault for two of Atletico's goals.

Losing finalist Luka Modric was also far from his best as he came on as a substitute around the hour mark. All four of them joined the squads after the pre-season got over and will look to be in shape for the La Liga opener this weekend.

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#4 Atletico Madrid finally break their Real jinx

World Cup winners and UEFA Super Cup Winners!
Oh la la! #AúpaAtleti #SuperCup #RealMadridAtleti pic.twitter.com/ifj2evKNNk

— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) August 15, 2018

2013-14 UEFA Champions League final, Sergio Ramos scored an equalizer with just two minutes left and took the game to extra-time where Real Madrid won 4-2. The next season, Real Madrid knocked them out of the tournament in the quarter-finals before beating them in the final of the 2015-16 edition to seal their 11th title.

It didn't stop there as Real won the bragging rights in the semi-finals of the 2016-17 edition. In spite of their struggles to get the better of Atletico in La Liga, Real Madrid were unbeaten against their city rivals in European competitions over the last few seasons and their winning run came to an end in Tallinn courtesy the 4-2 win. What's more significant about this win is that Atletico managed to do this without their manager Diego Simeone in the touchline.

 

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No Ronaldo, no problem

6 – Karim Benzema has now scored in each of the six different competitions he has appeared in for Real Madrid, netting 193 goals in total. Critical. pic.twitter.com/UBrQrwqVwD

— OptaJose (@OptaJose) August 15, 2018

This is Real Madrid's first competitive match since the exit of their star forward Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus. The defending Champions League champions did not sign any replacement and decided to trust Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio.

A piece of #RealMadrid buildup during the UEFA Super Cup. Fine patience & a great concept where Isco meets the ball, with a depth-run on the flank (Bale), & centrally (Asensio). Isco with a great run & delivery, which (almost) creates 3v2 & a great chance.pic.twitter.com/Kod4EO4UfU

— coachdogge (@coachdogge) August 15, 2018

Though Real lost the match, the absence of Ronaldo was not felt as Bale, Benzema and Asensio combined well up front and created a lot of chances. Bale is starting to show his critics what he is capable of while Asensio impressed everyone with his skills.

 

The duo, along with Benzema are combining well together and have the ability to make it up for Ronaldo's absence provided Bale stays fit.

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