Teamwork makes the dream work

Actual Madrid start 2022-23 season with one other trophy as Carlo Ancelotti & Co. claims UEFA Tremendous Cup

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Actual Madrid opened their 2022-23 season with a trophy, as they bested Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 to win the UEFA Tremendous Cup in Helsinki, Finland.

Report: Actual Madrid win Tremendous Cup

Objectives from David Alaba and Karim Benzema had been sufficient to topple the Bundesliga facet on Wednesday night time. Alex Kirkland recaps the sport and picks the very best/worst performers on a merry, historic night time for the Champions League and LaLiga title-holders.

JUMP TO: Participant scores | Finest/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Put up-match quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Speedy Response

Actual Madrid’s outdated boys have nonetheless acquired it

Some issues by no means change: one other season begins and Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are nonetheless bossing video games on the highest stage. That is imagined to be a season of transition within the Actual Madrid midfield — Aurelien Tchouameni is that this summer time’s high-profile new arrival, Eduardo Camavinga impressed off the bench final yr and Fede Valverde has already pressured his means into the crew — however no one instructed this age-defying midfield trio.

Madrid’s management of the center of the pitch was key right here, dominating possession and leaving Frankfurt chasing shadows. Casemiro caught the attention — his first-half header arrange David Alaba with a simple end for the opening objective, whereas he rattled the crossbar with a left-footed shot with an hour performed — and Kroos produced a seamless show, transferring the ball shortly and effectively and persistently making sensible selections, whereas Valverde was electrical on the right-hand facet.

This was the identical XI that began the Champions League closing, with coach Carlo Ancelotti opting to deal with this sport as a reward for the gamers who acquired Madrid right here, and that meant summer time signings Tchouameni and Antonio Rudiger had been solely required to make late cameos off the bench. It is a robust, well-balanced Actual Madrid squad and whereas repeating final yr’s wonderful LaLiga and Champions League double is a tall order, you would not need to guess towards it both.

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Karim Benzema‘s legend retains rising

There was a time, a decade in the past, when Benzema was not considered sufficient of a predatory scorer to steer the road for Actual Madrid. It appears absurd now, after his 324th objective for the membership — beating an unsighted Kevin Trapp after being picked out by Vinicius Junior — noticed him draw back from Raul Gonzalez into second place in Madrid’s all-time scoring charts, with solely Cristiano Ronaldo out forward of him.

Final season was Benzema’s best-ever scoring marketing campaign, with 27 targets in LaLiga and a exceptional 15 within the Champions League, and in preseason to this point, he is proven no indicators of letting up. He wasn’t at his most medical right here — he put one presentable alternative large within the first half when arrange by Kroos — and there was a component of fine fortune concerning the objective that put Madrid 2-0 up, with Trapp overwhelmed far too simply, however Benzema will as soon as once more be the distinction maker for the crew this season. Solely an harm would threaten his probabilities of producing one other distinctive season, and the crew’s probabilities of successful extra silverware.

One other European trophy for Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti, the person who was as stunned as anybody to finish up again in control of Actual Madrid final summer time, added one other trophy to his in depth assortment right here. The Italian is now probably the most profitable coach in UEFA Tremendous Cup historical past having gained it 4 instances, twice with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007, and now twice with Actual Madrid in 2014 and this yr.

His general report in European competitors is excellent — no one can contact his 4 Champions League titles as a supervisor, both — and he retains proving critics who see him as little greater than a profitable man-manager unsuitable. This was a near-flawless efficiency towards a Frankfurt crew which can be a way forward of Madrid of their early season preparations, with their Bundesliga marketing campaign already underway. There have been additionally some intelligent tweaks to the crew when the German facet regarded like getting on high within the first half, switching Valverde inside to present Madrid one other physique in central midfield.

Ancelotti is ideally suited to deal with the distinctive calls for on the Bernabeu. He has mentioned the prospect of shedding his job holds no concern for him at this stage of his profession, and he would possibly simply be the most well-liked coach the membership have ever had. After working miracles this season, the stress this yr might be simply as nice — there is no respite from the necessity to win trophies at Actual Madrid, ever — and Ancelotti will take care of it as he at all times has, with unflappable calm.

Participant scores

Actual Madrid: Thibaut Courtois 7; Dani Carvajal 6, David Alaba 7, Eder Militao 7, Ferland Mendy 7; Casemiro 8, Toni Kroos 8, Luka Modric 7; Fede Valverde 7, Vinicius Junior 7, Karim Benzema 7.
Subs: Rodrygo Goes 7, Eduardo Camavinga 7, Dani Ceballos 6, Aurelien Tchouameni 6, Antonio Rudiger 6.

Eintracht Frankfurt: Kevin Trapp 7; Almamy Toure 6, Tuta 7, Evan Ndicka 6; Ansgar Knauff 7, Sebastian Rode 6, Djibril Sow 6, Christopher Lenz 6; Jesper Lindstrom 5, Daichi Kamada 7, Rafael Borre 6.
Subs: Mario Gotze 6, Randal Muani 7, Lucas Alario 6.

Finest and worst performers

BEST: Toni Kroos, Actual Madrid

The German was typically questioned final season, with many followers calling for the extra dynamic Eduardo Camavinga to take his place and a few hypothesis that this might be his final yr on the membership. He was at his easy finest right here although. Frankfurt’s midfielders could not get close to him.

WORST: Jesper Lindstrom, Eintracht Frankfurt

It is exhausting to pick only one participant from a disappointing crew efficiency, however the large man had little or no pleasure up towards Mendy and did not take advantage of the instances he did get into promising positions.

Highlights and notable moments

Congrats to Benzema for his exceptional accomplishment: what higher option to commemorate turning into your membership’s second-highest scorer ever than with a pleasant tweet/graphic combo?

Yeah, good level by these guys (together with ESPN’s Sid Lowe). Somebody ought to look into this trio, they appear promising…

After the match: What the managers, gamers mentioned

“It was a troublesome sport, at the beginning they had been so shut [together] with a low block and we had problem, however after we scored the primary one on the finish of the primary half we had extra management. We did not take dangers, we did not play a sport with tremendous depth however I believe we had good management.”

“They’re used to taking part in collectively, they’re snug, they know one another, so for them it is easy to play collectively, to seek out the suitable time of the sport to typically play a low block and use a counter assault, they’re so used to taking part in collectively.” — Actual Madrid supervisor Carlo Ancelotti

“We’re completely satisfied. We have had a great preseason, we’re prepared, we have began effectively. There have been one or two points in defence however then we had lots of probabilities to attain with a bigger margin. However the necessary factor is to win with a clear sheet, it is our third closing in 2022 and our third clear sheet, that is essential.”

“The second half was calmer, that they had one (probability) on the finish however with out an excessive amount of problem. Good defensive work at all times helps. Once we defend effectively we’ll at all times have an opportunity to win.” — Actual Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois

Key Stats (supplied by ESPN Stats & Info)

  • With Actual Madrid’s win, Carlo Ancelotti has tied Luis Molowny with the third-most trophies gained by a supervisor in membership historical past. Miguel Munoz is 1st with 14, adopted by Zinedine Zidane with 11

  • The victory extends Actual Madrid’s unbeaten streak: Ancelotti’s facet are unbeaten of their final 31 video games (coming into at the moment) when main at HT (30-0-1); their final such loss got here within the Copa del Rey, Jan 2021, towards Alcorcón

  • Beneath Ancelotti, Actual Madrid’s report when main at HT is 78-1-3 W-L-D in all comps; the lone loss got here towards Valencia (Jan. 2015)

  • Karim Benzema’s exceptional yr continues: he is had 32 objective contributions (25 targets, 7 assists) in 24 video games (all competitions) to this point in 2022. Ballon d’Or, anybody?

  • Additionally, together with his objective, Benzema passes Raul in Actual Madrid’s all-time scoring charts (324). He’s now alone in second place behind Cristiano Ronaldo (450)

Up subsequent

Actual Madrid: After victory in Helsinki, LaLiga’s champions open the 2022-23 season on Sunday at Almeria (4 p.m. ET, ESPN+) earlier than touring to Espanyol for his or her second league fixture (Aug. 20).

Eintracht Frankfurt: The Tremendous Cup loss caps a chastening week for the German facet, particularly after shedding 6-1 at residence to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich of their 2022-23 season opener. They’re going to journey to Hertha Berlin (Saturday, 9:30 a.m. ET, ESPN+), adopted by a house date with Koln (Aug. 21, 9:30 a.m. ET, ESPN+) in league play.

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