Tallinn (Estonia), Aug 16 (IANS) Atletico Madrid came from behind on a goal by Diego Costa in the 78th minute and then scored twice in extra time to defeat crosstown rival Real Madrid 4-2 here in the UEFA Super Cup.
The setting was an intimate one for the annual match-up between the reigning Champions League and Europa League winners, but the 12,500 spectators at Lillekula Stadium on Wednesday were treated to an intense battle between two sides that played with pace, energy and desire from the opening whistle, reports Efe.
Atletico struck first in the very first minute of the match when Costa headed on a long pass by Diego Godin, outraced two defenders to the ball further upfield and then rifled a shot from a tight angle past Real Madrid netminder Keylor Navas.
Real Madrid did not take long, however, to show it has plenty of offensive firepower even in the post-Cristiano Ronaldo era, nearly getting a goal on a back-heeled shot by Marco Asensio that forced Jan Oblak to come up with a save before coming up with the equaliser at the 27-minute mark.
On the play, Gareth Bale sent in a perfectly placed long cross from the right side that left Oblak out of position and unable to stop a close-range header by Karim Benzema.
After tying the score, Real Madrid appeared to have the edge over the remainder of the first half but was unable to stretch its lead.
That changed 15 minutes after the start of the second half, when Juanfran was called for a hand ball in the area on a Real Madrid corner kick.
Sergio Ramos did the honors from the 12-yard mark, using a couple of hesitation moves before confidently slotting the shot inside the right upright to give the Blancos a 2-1 lead.
A half-hour remained until second-half stoppage time, but Atletico’s attack needed a kickstart.
That came from an unlikely source when Real Madrid defender Marcelo got too cute with the ball and gifted it to Juanfran, who found Angel Correa further upfield.
After some nifty work along the sideline, Correa set up Costa for his second goal of the match in the 78th minute.
The contest then came down to two 15-minute periods of extra time, but Atletico only needed the first one to turn the match decisively in its favor.
Saul Ñiguez blasted a stunning left-footed volley past Navas off a pass in the 98th minute to give the Colchoneros the lead for the second time.
They then got an insurance goal in the 104th minute when Koke scored on a pass from Vitolo.
Afterward, Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone, who was serving a touchline ban, said afterward that this was a day to celebrate.
“Today you have to enjoy, there’s no doubt, because when we lost we suffered, we cried, we were angry, we shut ourselves off,” Simeone, whose teams lost the 2014 and 2016 Champions League finals to Real Madrid, added.