Sat, 23 Sep 2023

Real Madrid crowned Super Cup kings
11 Aug 2022, 18:22 GMT+10

The Spanish giants added to their trophy haul with victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in Helsinki

Real Madrid began their new campaign where they left off last season, adding more silverware to the Bernabeu trophy room by beating Germans Eintracht Frankfurt to lift the UEFA Super Cup at Helsinki's Olympic Stadium.

French forward Karim Benzema - who was at the crux of Real's Champions League-winning exploits last season - became the club's second-highest scorer of all time as he sealed victory in the 65th minute after combining with Vinicius Junior.

Defender David Alaba had given Real the lead in the 37th minute when he swept home from close range after Casemiro had headed the ball down to him.

The 2-0 win for Carlo Ancelotti's team meant a fifth UEFA Super Cup in total for Real - a joint record alongside AC Milan and Barcelona.

It was also a record fourth personal Super Cup triumph for Ancelotti - twice with Real and twice with Milan.  

Europa League winners Eintracht were spirited rivals and put up more of a fight than many had hoped, especially after they came into the match on the back of a 6-1 Bundesliga drubbing by Bayern Munich at the weekend.

But Real gradually exerted control over the match, with Casemiro hitting the crossbar with one effort after Kevin Trapp had saved a deflected Vinicius Junior effort.

Benzema, 34, continues to age like a fine French wine and capped the win with his strike after continuing the link-up with Vinicius which proved so fruitful in winning the Champions League and La Liga last season.

The goal moved Benzema ahead of Spanish great Raul in Real's all-time list with 324 strikes.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo remains above the Frenchman, with the Portuguese striker plundering 450 goals during his nine years at the Bernabeu.  

Real manager Ancelotti hailed Benzema as a "team leader" and argued his credentials for a maiden Ballon d'Or.

"If we're here it's largely due to his merits, he scored a lot of goals, he finished the season well, he scored a goal today and now he's going for the Ballon d'Or award," said the Italian.  

Ancelotti has suggested his team can fight for all six titles they are in contention for this season, and began with the same line-up in Helsinki which beat Liverpool in Paris back in May.

However, new summer signings Aurelien Tchouameni and Antonio Rudiger were among those introduced from the bench for their formal debuts.

"They are used to playing together, they are comfortable, they know each other," said Ancelotti.

"We didn't play a spectacular game, but we were really solid. Our usual. Eintracht were very closed and we found it difficult to find our rhythm, but we did it well then.

"It's difficult at the beginning of the season to be in top form but we now have won to start the season well."

Real begin their quest for a third La Liga title in four years when they meet Almeria on Sunday - and beyond that will be targeting a 15th Champions League crown.

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