Atletico Madrid finally got their own back on Real Madrid in European competition by snatching a 4-2 win over their city rivals on Wednesday to lift the UEFA Super Cup for a third time.
Diego Costa gave Europa League holders Atletico a dream start against Champions League winners Real by firing them ahead after 49 seconds, knocking down a long pass and firing the ball into the net from a tight angle.
Real, who beat Atletico in the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals and knocked them out of the competition in 2015 and 2017, levelled when Karim Benzema leapt at the far post to head in a cross from Gareth Bale in the 27th minute.
Real looked set to pour more pain on their city rivals when Juanfran handled in the area and Sergio Ramos calmly tucked the spot-kick away.
But a thumping close-range finish from Costa denied them and Atletico were ruthless in extra-time.
Saul punished Raphael Varane’s mistake by scoring with a stunning volley to put Atletico ahead again in the 98th minute and fellow academy graduate Koke sealed the victory six minutes later.
“We always want to win whoever we are playing against but of course we really wanted to finally win a European final against Real Madrid,” Koke said.
“It was a spectacular game and in the end when you play like a group it always pays off. This is a great start to a season which we hope will be very successful and very enjoyable.”
Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui said: “A final is typically won by the team who capitalises on circumstances and Atletico are experts in doing that and they deserved to win the game.
“The game didn’t start well for us as we were caught out unexpectedly, then we turned it around and were well on top and we had chances to kill the game off but we couldn’t do it.”
La Liga 2018/19: When does the season start?
The new La Liga campaign gets underway tonight (August 17) with two fixtures.
Girona host Real Valladolid at 7.15pm BST before Real Betis take on Levante at 9.15pm.
La Liga 2018: When do Real Madrid and Barcelona play?
Barcelona play their opening game of the new season the the Nou Camp against Alaves tomorrow (Saturday, August 18) which kicks off at 9.15pm.
Real Madrid also play their first fixture at home but don’t feature until Sunday (August 19).
The European champions face Getafe at 9.15pm.
The first El Clasico of new campaign is scheduled for Sunday, October 28 at 5.30pm but details are subject to change.
La Liga 2018: Fixture list for opening weekend
7.15pm: Girona vs Real Valladolid
9.15pm: Real Betis vs Levante
5.15pm: Celta vs Espanyol
7.15pm: Villarreal vs Real Sociedad
9.15pm: Barcelona vs Alaves
5.15pm Eibar vs SD Huesca
9.15pm Rayo Vallecano vs Sevilla
9.15pm Real Madrid vs Getafe
7pm: Valencia vs Atletico Madrid
9pm: Athletic Bilbao vs Leganes
Read more here: Daily Express :: Sport Feedhappy wheels
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