Unconvincing Real Madrid reach Supercopa final

Unconvincing Real Madrid reach Supercopa final

Real Madrid edged into the Supercopa de Espana final with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory over Valencia following an unconvincing 1-1 draw after extra time on Wednesday.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side were not at their best in Riyadh, but Eray Comert – who conceded the penalty for Benzema’s first-half opener – and Jose Gaya both faltered from 12 yards.

Samuel Lino’s 46th-minute strike had earlier pulled Valencia level before Giorgi Mamardashvili made a trio of fine extra-time saves, but Comert blasted over and Thibaut Courtois denied Gaya to send Madrid through.

Los Blancos will aim for their third Supercopa in the last four seasons on Sunday when they face the winners of Thursday’s semi-final between LaLiga leaders Barcelona and Real Betis.

Madrid have enjoyed Supercopa success in three of the previous five seasons, with 12 crowns overall, therefore it will not come as a surprise to see them progress — albeit in unconvincing fashion.

Los Blancos were blunted by Gennaro Gattuso’s energetic side for large parts but that will prove little consolation for Valencia, who have played the most semi-finals in the competition without reaching the final (two), after also falling to Madrid in 2020.

Ancelotti will still be left with a lot to desire, though they are potentially just 90 minutes from their first silverware of the season.

Meanwhile, Benzema is the second player to score in five consecutive games in Supercopa history (five goals) after Barca’s Lionel Messi between 2010 and 2012 (eight goals in five successive games).

The 35-year-old striker was a constant nuisance for Comert and Cenk Ozkacar, delivering in yet another knockout clash for Madrid.