Thibaut Courtois proved the hero on Sunday as Real Madrid beat city rivals Atletico Madrid in a penalty shoot-out in Saudi Arabia to win their 11th Spanish Super Cup.
Two imperious goalkeepers came out on top during a goalless final in Jeddah but Belgian Courtois proved decisive, saving Thomas Partey‘s penalty after Saul Niguez had already hit the post.
Sergio Ramos tucked away the winning spot-kick to ensure Real Madrid clinched their first trophy of the season, with La Liga and the Champions League next in their sights.
Atletico did not manage a shot on target until the 79th minute, Kieran Trippier‘s searching pass finding Alvaro Morata, whose volley from the edge of the six-yard box was parried away by Courtois.
The game’s major flashpoint came with five minutes remaining in extra time when Federico Valverde cynically hacked down Morata just outside the area when he was clean through on goal, sparking a melee involving both sets of players.
In the shootout, Saul saw his spot-kick hit the post before Thomas’ effort was saved by Courtois, giving Ramos the chance to secure Real’s 11th Spanish Super Cup
The tournament had a new format this season, with the top two from La Liga and the Copa del Rey finalists playing in a four-team competition rather than the two winners playing each other.
Real, despite finishing third in La Liga, qualified because Barcelona won the league and finished runners-up in the Cup.
Victory maintains Zinedine Zidane‘s spotless record as a coach in finals. He has now led Madrid to success in three of three Champions League, two each in the Club World Cup and Uefa Super Cup, and now one in the Spanish Super Cup.
Photo Credit: AFP