Real Madrid are preparing to make their third consecutive appearance in the Spanish Super Cup final after they got the better of Atletico in Wednesday’s thrilling Madrid derby.
Los Blancos fought back from a goal down to take a 2-1 lead courtesy of efforts from Antonio Rudiger and Ferland Mendy, but they looked set to lose to Atleti for the second time this season following an Antoine Griezmann equaliser and a Rudiger own goal.
However, just as it seemed as though their Super Cup hopes were quickly fading, Dani Carvajal levelled the scoreline in the 85th minute, before substitutes Joselu and Brahim Diaz grabbed a goal apiece in extra time to seal Real Madrid’s first-ever Spanish Super Cup victory over their local rivals.
Real Madrid now have the chance to win the trophy for the first time in five seasons and the 13th time in their history, which would move them to within one Super Cup of record winners Barcelona.
While they may have come up short against their bitter rivals in last year’s final, Real Madrid will head into Sunday’s contest in a confident mood, having avoided defeat in each of their last 20 competitive matches (W17, D3) since losing to Atleti in September.
That run of results includes a victory in October’s Clasico when Jude Bellingham netted a brace – including a 92nd-minute winner – to guide his team to a narrow 2-1 victory, representing a second straight win in competitive head-to-head matches against Barcelona.
Robert Lewandowski broke the deadlock just shy of the hour mark with his 11th goal of the season, before substitute Lamine Yamal found the net in stoppage time to wrap up Barcelona’s third consecutive victory in all competitions, while they also ended a six-game wait for a clean sheet.
Yamal’s late strike proved to be a significant one for Xavi’s side, as it helped them secure their first win by a two-margin or more since they cruised to a 5-0 victory in September’s Champions League clash with Belgium side Royal Antwerp.
With Barcelona currently sitting in third place and seven points behind Real Madrid in La Liga, they may have some extra motivation to claim the silverware on Sunday, especially as they gave up a lead to lose to their rivals in October’s league meeting.
Not only are they driven to beat their famous old foes, but the Catalan giants also have the chance to win consecutive Spanish Super Cups for the first time since achieving the feat in 2010 and 2011 when Pep Guardiola was in the dugout and Xavi was marshalling the midfield.
They can also become the first reigning league champions to lift the trophy since they beat Sevilla 2-1 in Morocco in August 2018.