Real Madrid got their hands on a joint-record fifth UEFA Super Cup with a 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in Helsinki. It was Los Blancos’ first win over the German side in the tournament.
Real Madrid clinched the title thanks to a David Alaba goal courtesy of a header and some sloppy goalkeeping from Kevin Trapp that allowed Benzema to squeeze in a crucial goal.
The final result gave Carlo Ancelotti his fourth title since returning to the club last summer and his eighth in both spells in the Spanish capital. Oliver Glasner’s display against Eintracht Frankfurt was undoubtedly one of the best in his team management, never needing to step up the intensity to match the big occasion.
Here are three key statistics to understand the tie:
No team has previously repeated the same lineup in a single-match Super Cup game as in a European final
Carlo Ancelotti gambled by selecting the same XI that won the Champions League in Paris. It was clear for weeks in his build-up that he would be sticking with the same players who took Helsinki, and he did just that, repeating the same side in the Super Cup final.
With two new signings in Aurelien Tchoumenyi and Antonio Rudiger, Ancelotti instead started alongside David Alaba and Eder Militao in defense and Casemiro in midfield.
It was an interesting choice as much as Carlo Ancelotti’s strategic preferences were about man management. In following this path, he gave a big vote of confidence to players like Ferland Mendy, who lived up to the occasion with strong performances.
Fringe players and newcomers got a late chance, with the likes of Dani Ceballos, often chosen as the team’s seventh-choice midfielder and portrayed by many as a frustrated talent, to shine on the biggest stage.
It was clear that for Ancelotti this match was a continuation of the 2021/22 campaign, but also preparation for 2022/23. He wanted to give his players a chance to prove themselves again and they did just that by getting the result and allowing Ancelotti to turn it around late on.
324 – Karim Benzema overtakes Raul as Real Madrid’s second all-time top goalscorer
Benzema led the way, converting the team’s second goal to overtake Raul’s tally of 323 strikes for the club to become the club’s second-highest goalscorer of all time.
Perhaps a fortunate goal that reflects the confidence that has grown in his game in recent years and reflects his position in the team. That’s why many Madridistas will be delighted to see the club’s captain lift the Super Cup trophy as he officially lifts the title for the first time in Helsinki.
Only Cristiano Ronaldo, who benefited from 47 assists from Benzema, has scored more for the club. 127 goals ahead, it doesn’t look like Benzema will be able to catch the Portuguese, but it was a perfect opportunity for Benzema to officially become the runner-up. This was limited by the fact that Benzema lifted his first trophy as the club’s official captain last season, deputizing for Marcelo.
Yet, at the same time, the game showed that Benzema has a future beyond his brilliance. If Real Madrid fans were worried about attacking power, this game should have eased those nerves. Out of a total of 10 shots, seven were on target. Benzema wasn’t the only one involved.
Vinicius scored three tries, Fede Valverde scored two more and Casemiro hit two shots. Taking the pressure off the Frenchman could be key this season. Celebrating his 35th birthday, Benzema cannot be expected to shoulder the bulk of the scoring duties last season.
The wealth of attacking talent, which saw Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard both top goal scorers, was left wondering as they remained on the substitutes’ bench as Rodrigo Goes was given the nod as the only attacking reinforcement.
6 — Casemiro completed the most tackles of any player
It has been a period of pressure for the Brazilian since establishing himself in the first team under Zinedine Zidane in 2016, with media pressure on him high.
The excellent form of new arrivals Tchaumenyi and youngster Eduardo Kamavinga in pre-season means they have become the talk of the town as potential replacements for Ancelotti this season. Maybe time to look to the future and give Casemiro more rest? But number 14 showed why it’s too early to have any such conversation.Topics #European Super Cup #Real Madrid