Raul Garcia bagged a brace as Athletic Club set up a Spanish Supercopa final meeting with Barcelona with a 2-1 semi final win over Real Madrid.
Zinedine Zidane stuck with the same team that laboured to a goalless draw against Osasuna on Saturday, refusing the opportunity to rotate his squad despite the number of games Los Blancos have played of late.
An element of weariness was evident in their play from the start and Athletic Club made the most of that to open the scoring after 18 minutes, with Raul Garcia sliding a finish underneath Thibaut Courtois after some slack defensive play.
Liga
Real clear at the top after routine win at Sociedad despite Benzema injury
YESTERDAY AT 19:32
Athletic Club doubled their advantage seven minutes from half time when Lucas Vazquez brought down Iker Muniain inside the box, giving Garcia the opportunity to score his second from the spot.
Marco Asensio struck the woodwork no fewer than three times before Karim Benzema scored a close-range effort following a VAR check to give the Spanish champions a lifeline with 17 minutes left to play.
Courtois made a big save to prevent Athletic Club a third goal through Asier Villalibre, with Sergio Ramos also coming close to an equaliser with a header just wide, but the Basque side got the job done to set up a clash with Barcelona in Seville on Sunday.

Raul Garcia (Athletic Bilbao) buteur face au Real Madrid

Image credit: Getty Images

TALKING POINT - Zinedine Zidane didn’t heed the warnings and got his team wrong

Most presumed Zidane would make changes for this match after Real Madrid’s tired performance against Osasuna, but the Frenchman stuck with exactly the same side that struggled so badly in Pamplona. Zidane has generally stayed away from rotation in recent weeks, and this strategy has worked. Not this time, though. The Real Madrid manager paid the price for not heeding the warnings of recent displays with Athletic Club more energetic and ruthless in front of goal.

'This is not a failure' - Zidane keen to move on from Super Cup defeat

MAN OF THE MATCH - Raul Garcia (Athletic Club)

Last month, Raul Garcia was shown two yellow cards in the first half of a match at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano. Tonight, the former Atletico Madrid man scored twice to send Real Madrid out of the Spanish Supercopa. Garcia showed real cutting edge in front of goal this evening, taking Athletic Club’s opportunities when they came. He was the biggest difference between the two teams on the night.

Raúl García celebra su gol en el Real Madrid-Athletic

Image credit: Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

Real Madrid: Courtois 8, Vazquez 3, Ramos 6, Varane 4, Mendy 6, Kroos 5, Modric 5, Casemiro 7, Asensio 8, Benzema 5, Hazard 4. Subs: Nacho 5, Valverde 5, Vinicius 5, Mariano 3.
Athletic Club: Simon 6, Capa 6, Nunez 7, Inigo 7, Balenziaga 6, De Marcos 7, Vencedor 6, Dani Garcia 7, Muniain 7, Garcia 8, Williams 6. Subs: Lekue 5, Vesga 5, Villalibre 4, Berenguer 5, Morcillo 3.

KEY MOMENTS

18’ GOAL! Real Madrid 0-1 Athletic Club (Raul Garcia): Athletic Club have taken the lead and it's Garcia with the goal! The former Atletico Madrid man made the most of some loose play at the back by Real Madrid to slide a low finish underneath Courtois! That all came from a mistake by the Spanish champions!
37’ PENALTY TO ATHLETIC CLUB! Vazquez knocks over Muniain and the referee points to the spot!
38’ Real Madrid 0-2 Athletic Club (Raul Garcia): The Basque side have doubled their advantage and it's Garcia who finds the back of the net for a second time! The former Atletico Madrid forward finds the top corner of the net with Courtois diving the wrong way!
69’ Off the bar! Can you believe it? Asensio has struck the woodwork for a THIRD time! This time the Real Madrid man sends a left-footed strike towards goal, but Simon is saved by his crossbar!
73’ GOAL! Real Madrid 1-2 Athletic Club (Karim Benzema): The goal stands after a very lengthy VAR check and Real Madrid have a way back into this match! Casemiro headed a cross back into the middle for Benzema. The Frenchman swept home and the replays show he was onside!

KEY STATS

  • Thibaut Courtois has conceded 16 of the 18 penalties he has faced as Real Madrid goalkeeper including the last nine in a row.
  • Eden Hazard failed to complete a single take-on in his 66 minutes on the pitch against Athletic Club.
Liga
Benzema strike sees Real go seven points clear
01/12/2021 AT 20:52
Football
The Ballon d’Or shouldn't matter – The Warm-Up
01/12/2021 AT 08:55