Real Madrid beats Atletico 5-3 in extra time thriller to reach Spanish Super Cup final

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — After own-goals, goalkeeping blunders and a milestone by Antoine Griezmann, Real Madrid outlasted Atletico Madrid in thrilling extra time victory in the semifinal of Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

Two late goals gave Madrid a 5-3 win over its rival in a match in which Griezmann surpassed Luis Aragonés as Atletico’s all-time top scorer with 174 goals.

Madrid will play Sunday’s final against either Barcelona or Osasuna, who meet on Thursday in Riyadh.

“It was a back-and-forth match,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “They did well in the first half and in the second we were able to improve. Both teams played very well. It was a spectacular match, we won because we had a bit more energy in the end.”

Atletico took the lead with a header by Mario Hermoso after a cross by Griezmann six minutes into the match, but Madrid went ahead with Antonio Rüdiger scoring in the 20th and Ferland Mendy in the 29th.

Griezmann scored his milestone goal with a right-footed low shot from outside the area after using a nifty move to change directions and get past defenders in the 37th. The France forward had gone scoreless in three straight games since tying Aragonés with a pair of goals against Getafe in the Spanish league in December.

An own-goal by Rüdiger in the 78th put Atletico ahead again before Dani Carvajal equalized in the 85th to send the game into extra time. Rüdiger’s own-goal came after a mistake by Madrid goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga while going for a ball crossed into the area. Kepa couldn’t hold on to the ball and it ricocheted off Rüdiger and went backward into the net.

Madrid took the lead late in extra time after Atletico defender Stefan Savic found his own net while trying to intercept a cross by Carvajal in the 116th, and Brahim Díaz sealed Madrid’s win in stoppage time by hitting the open net after Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak had left his area to try to help the attack the other way. Díaz sped past Oblak near midfield to get to the ball and send it into the open net.

Díaz was shown the game’s only yellow card for taking his shirt off during the celebration. No Madrid derby has gone without a yellow card since 1974.

It was the first of three matches in less than a month between the Madrid rivals. They will also meet in the Copa del Rey next week at Atletico’s Metropolitano Stadium, and in the Spanish league in February at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Madrid had won its last five games in all competitions and is enjoying an unbeaten run of 20 consecutive matches. The team’s only loss this season came against Atletico in the Spanish league in September.

Diego Simeone’s team went on a strong run after that home win against Madrid, advancing to the knockout round of the Champions League and getting near the top of the Spanish league, but it has won only two of its last six matches in all competitions and dropped out of the Champions League places in the Spanish league.

Atletico and Madrid also met in the 2020 Super Cup final, with Madrid winning on penalties in what marked the first time the competition was taken to Saudi Arabia in a lucrative multi-year deal for the clubs and the Spanish soccer federation.

It was a mostly quiet crowd during Wednesday match, and there seemed to be jeers during the moment of silence in honor of German great Franz Beckenbauer, who died this week.

Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos, who has criticized the decision by top players to play in Saudi Arabia, also was booed by the Saudi crowd.

The Super Cup’s new “final four” format pits together the top two teams in the Spanish league last season and the last two Copa del Rey finalists.


AP soccer:

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