Atletico Madrid’s UEFA Super Cup victory gave Diego Simeone confidence to trust his bench
Atletico Madrid’s UEFA Super Cup victory gave Diego Simeone confidence to trust his bench. Atletico Madrid have played five finals against Real Madrid in recent times, and they couldn’t complain much about unfair play except to realizing that they haven’t had the bench strength to trouble their superior cross city rival.
For the very first-time, last night Atletico squad was more valuable than Real. Los Blancos were not the superior side, they used to be. Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side started well and goes on to match Julen Lopetegui’s Real Madrid side in extra-time as well.
Atletico Madrid won UEFA Super Cup title 4-2 in extra-time. It has been seen that Atletico have struggled every-time a match has gone into extra-time because they have limited capacity to hurt their rivals putting on their reserve players.
It has happened in last two Champions League final game played between the two cross-city rivals. Each time game goes into extra-time, Atletico run out of gas to cope up with Real Madrid’s bench strength. But, it wasn’t the same last night.
Simeone got a different energy. First-time, he deployed the players from the bench and it worked wonders. They were really better than Real’s bench. Thomas Partey, Vitolo, Angel Correa, and Jose Gimenez came off the bench to give a different dimension to the game. Debutant Thomas Lemar and Rodri were brilliant as well. However, the tone of the match was set by Diego Costa’s brilliant strike from the first play of the game.
Real Madrid bounced back from the goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos as well. Once again, Real Madrid’s fighting spirit was witnessed, but Costa soon equalized for Rojiblancos to give a different angle to match.
Real Madrid’s “never say die” attitude was in danger. With 2-2 in normal time, the match goes into extra-time. Once again, Simeone has the same fear as he has witnessed in previous finals against Real Madrid. But, this time his boys were ready to give their own lesson to their cross-city rival. Saul Niguez and Koke gave the much needed lead to Atletico earning a 4-2 victory, whereas Real failed to make any impact in last gasp of the game.
The credit must goes to Atletico’s bench. They showed the character and gave Simeone confidence to trust them when they’re needed.
Simeone applauding his team told Marca, “The substitutes were very good, they gave us extra strength and after the equalizer the team grew more into the game. We have an excellent squad and we need all the players ready to go. If they are all on top form, we have great chances to win.”