Athletic Bilbao knock out Atlético and face Real Madrid in Super Cup final

There will be no Madrid derby on Sunday in Riyadh in the Spanish Super Cup final. Athletic Bilbao will defend their title. Yet led 1-0 at the start of the second period by Atlético Madrid, the Basques overthrew Diego Simeone’s men thanks to goals from Alvarez (77th) and Nico Williams (81st). It’s a new blow for the Spanish champion.

Diego Simeone’s team are no longer an invincible machine when they open the scoring. On the contrary, the own goal by Basque goalkeeper Simon (62nd) after a header on the post from Joao Felix on receipt of a well-worked outgoing corner by Lemar was practically the turning point of the match. In the wake of this lucky goal, or unfortunate depending on the point of view, Athletic Bilbao rushed to attack. Two minutes later, Martinez came close to equalizing, miraculously pushed back on his line by an extraordinary Oblak.

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The three simultaneous changes made by Marcelino in the 70th minute accelerated the Basque domination. If the Slovenian goalkeeper was still decisive on a missile from Inaki Williams (71st), he was only postponing the deadline. Following corners remarkably struck by Munian, Alvarez, with a powerful header (77th), and Nico Williams (81st), with a subtle half-volley with the flat left foot, allowed the Basques to completely reverse the game.

Joao Felix during the Spanish Super Cup match between Atlético de Madrid and Athletic Bilbao on January 13, 2022

Credit: Getty Images

However, Atlético Madrid was for a long time the most enterprising formation, like a goal logically refused for offside to Joao Félix after… fifteen seconds of play. Without Griezmann, injured and remained in Spain, but with a good Kondogbia in the heart of the game, the fourth in La Liga dominated the proceedings, without however getting a lot of clear chances, despite the activity of Carrasco. And it was not the late entry into play of Suarez (71st) in place of a disappointing Correa that was going to remedy this. At this moment, the match had already changed its soul and was soon to switch definitively in favor of the Basques.

Annoyed by this reversal of the situation, the Spanish champion took out his fangs at the end of the game, like a logical red card awarded to the Uruguayan Gimenez for an excess of commitment. He will thus be suspended for the next day of La Liga. This will not help the affairs of Diego Simeone who will have to find a solution for his training to regain the defensive efficiency that has characterized it for so long. Sunday against Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao will aim for its fourth title in this competition. Last year, the Rojiblancos dominated FC Barcelona (3-2) in the final.

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