But for Zinedine Zidane, the chance for early silverware in 2021 slips through his hands. His side will be left to rue their errors; indeed, they’ve mustered just one goal in 180-plus minutes against arguably inferior opposition now. There’s questions to be asked.
Indeed, it will be a rematch of the 2015 Supercopa de Espana tie, albeit a one-legged, winner-takes-all affair – and for their coach, it is a chance to cross swords with the Blaugrana again after he beat them in the 2019 Copa del Rey final with Valencia.
What a result for Marcelino! It is cruel, perhaps, that he should be the one to reap the rewards of Gaizka Garitano’s run to the Copa del Rey final, having only arrived at the start of this month of course, but he has nonetheless masterminded an upset here. He’ll relish a short at Barcelona once again.
It is Raul Garcia’s double that has done the damage in Malaga! Reigning Supercopa de Espana champions Real Madrid are out, despite Karim Benzema’s late VAR-assisted response and some last-gasp would-be-penalty drama! It is Athletic Bilbao who go through to the final to face Barcelona! At full-time, it finishes Real Madrid 1-2 Athletic Bilbao.
90′ + 9′ FULL-TIME: REAL MADRID 1-2 ATHLETIC BILBAO
90′ + 9′ ATHLETIC BILBAO ARE IN THE 2020-21 SUPERCOPA DE ESPANA FINAL!
90′ + 8′ No penalty! That will surely be the last act of this match!
90′ + 7′ But there is a final twist in this game! Ramos thinks he has a penalty and the VAR is having a look for a push on the Madrid man as he went to ground near Vesga. The Bilbao man leapt away, hands up. Is there contact?
90′ + 6′ Mendy skies the cut-back! It’s closer than it looks on replay but it very well may be the last-chance saloon gone begging for Madrid.
90′ + 4′ Ramos holds his head in his hands as Madrid spray another opportunity wide of the mark. Bilbao have the goal-kick and will take as long as they can with it.
90′ + 2′ The corner is well cleared by Los Blancos, and they attempt to launch a counter-move down the opposite end of the field. Bilbao will want to keep this ball as far away from their own half as they can.
90′ We’re in for six – count it, SIX – added minutes in Malaga, as Bilbao win a corner. This truly is the time for heroes and villains.
88′ Unai Simon is the latest man to see yellow. The cards have been busy today.
88′ Mariano Diaz is on for Benzema as Madrid hunt this last-gasp opportunity to keep the game alive.
87′ Ramos! The defender skims a diving header wide of the right post. That could have been the equaliser Madrid desperately need to force an extension of this match.
84′ Now Garcia is booked himself for a foolish challenge, leaving him to rue his mistakes. That set-piece doesn’t provide the threat that Bilbao were looking for.
83′ Kroos gets slapped with a booking now after sliding in on Dani Garcia. It’s a foolish play at this stage of the game and hands Bilbao a free-kick inside the Madrid half to ease some pressure.
82′ Benzema has the ball in the net again – and once more the flag denies him! There will be no need for a further check in-depth check though; if that first call was close, there is clear daylight in this one.
79′ Balenziaga meanwhile makes way for Jon Morcillo for Bilbao too.
79′ It is the end of Raul Garcia’s game – and what a game for him – now as Bilbao bring on Asier Villalibre.
76′ That call took the best part of three minutes to make, but it is as if Madrid have found their second wind. They look absolutely up for this last quarter-hour. Can they snatch this one here?
73′ GOAL! KARIM BENZEMA PULLS IT BACK FOR REAL MADRID! 2-1! VAR overturns the on-field decision! There’s no need for the monitor, and Bilbao may have some raised eyebrows on the replay, but there’s enough to warrant a reversal from the referee. Los Blancos are back in this!
73′ Madrid have the ball in the net! But the flag is up against them, Benzema adjudged to have poked home the finish at close-range from an offside position. VAR is going to have a look at it.
71′ Indeed, Bilbao now replace Muniain with Alejandro Berenguer Remiro.
70′ Muniain is still on the field but for not much longer. He is still limping and with a likely final in the next few days – unless Madrid can pull a rabbit out of a hat – it would be wise to pull him, surely.
68′ Inigo Lekue also replaces Capa for the leaders.
68′ There’s changes now for Bilbao too, as Mikel Vesga replaces Vencedor.
67′ Federico Valverde is also on for Los Blancos, replacing Modric.
67′ With play yet to resume, Madrid ring the changes, bringing on Vinicius Junior on for Hazard.
66′ There might have to be an injury change for Bilbao soon, with Muniain appearing to be in some discomfort with his leg. Play is paused so he can get treatment.
64′ Kroos steers Los Blancos’ latest half-chance away from goal. Every time they get close, Bilbao have players hurling their bodies around to deflect or distract. It’s working for them so far.
62′ Off the post! Madrid go frustratingly close with an effort against the woodwork in a crowded box, forcing Bilbao into evasive action to clear their lines. Zinedine Zidane energetically lingers on the sidelines.
60′ Bilbao have been battered down to just over 30 per cent of the ball throughout this tie so far. But that lead is looking strangely comfortable as Madrid continue to miss their mark.
58′ Asensio! That is not far off the mark for the Madrid man, flashing an effort just over the crossbar from the edge of the box. Los Blancos still have to find two goals at least here to keep this game alive.
56′ That is a rash challenge from Capa, who would do well to watch his step with that. He picked up that red card against Madrid the last time these sides met. He gets a booking this time around.
54′ Muniain! That could have been three for Bilbao, as the winger just nudges a header wide of the near post following a right-flank square delivery.
52′ Benzema gets his head to a delivery near the left post and just drifts it into the goalkeeper’s arms. It’s not coming off for the striker today.
50′ Does Mendy have a penalty shout there? He goes down in a challenge from Capa just inside the box but no spot-kick is forthcoming this time. VAR doesn’t intervene either and it will be a goal-kick.
48′ Madrid are littered with talents who can turn this game around but it definitely feels like they are going to need one of them to step up in particular. Bilbao just looked filled with more poise and vim.
46′ Los Blancos have made a change at the break though, with Varane hooked and Nacho on in his place.
46′ We’re back underway for the second half in Malaga. Can Madrid turn this one around to book their place in the final or will Bilbao see it out from here?
Marcelino will be pleased as punch with that one. Zinedine Zidane? Not so much. But there’s plenty of time for the pendulum to swing in this one.
It is Raul Garcia at the double to put Athletic Bilbao into the driving seat against Real Madrid – and one half of football away from the Supercopa de Espana final. Los Blancos will be left to rue their chances; they have an uphill task ahead. Half-time in Malaga, it is Real Madrid 0-2 Athletic Bilbao.
45′ + 1′ HALF-TIME: REAL MADRID 0-2 ATHLETIC BILBAO
45′ It’s Bilbao who marshal the last chance of the half – and Courtois makes the stop! It’s close to being three before the break. That half-time whistle is music to Madrid’s ears.
43′ Kroos now pops an effort in that leaves the keeper untroubled as Madrid push with ferocity for a response. They’re running out of time to find one ahead of half-time.
42′ Garcia is looking for that hat-trick – in the first half, no less, against Real Madrid! – and he should probably do better with the ball sent his way. Los Blancos see it out for a corner and sturdily defend.
40′ That was sloppy from Zinedine Zidane’s side and he knows it. His team really need to find a response before the break or they will face a mountain to climb after it.
38′ GOAL! RAUL GARCIA MAKES IT TWO FOR ATHLETIC BILBAO! 2-0! A double for the striker and a coolly composed finish from the spot as he strokes it in at the right post, Courtois sent skimming the other way. Madrid pay the price there.
37′ Penalty to Bilbao! Oh, Vazquez should not be doing that, absolutely clattering Martinez as he dinks into the box to collect a cross. It is a spot-kick, plain and simple, no VAR about it. The defender gets booked for his troubles too.
36′ Williams feeds Garcia into the box and the Bilbao man should arguably do better with his finish. The corner is cleared away by Madrid, but they are back under pressure again a moment later.
34′ The ball has broadly been in Madrid’s court so far when it comes to possession – they have enjoyed two-thirds of it overall. Let’s see if they can convert it into an equaliser before the break.
28′ Hazard, Kroos and Benzema combine to pop a lovely ball into the Bilbao box and find only Martinez to head away. Benzema comes once more and punches his finish into the side netting.
26′ Kroos spots an opportunity and strokes a finish over the crossbar, chewing his lip as he walks away. A moment later, Asensio cuts in on a lovely run from the right flank and pushes a shot across goal.
24′ Raul Garcia! The forward tries to make it two with a sweeping shot hooked wide of the near-right post from the lip of the Madrid box. Close but no cigar.
22′ Bilbao’s first corner of the game almost falls kindly for Nunez but the defender can’t quite wrestle control back from the set-piece. A second could be a game-changer for the leaders here.
20′ There’s a long way to go in this game but Bilbao will be on cloud nine. They had lost a player by this point in their last encounter with Madrid, but there’s no sign of a card yet in this game.
18′ Zinedine Zidane looks less than impressed with that down on the sidelines and rightfully so. It is a poor showing at the back from his defence, Ramos out of place as the ball trundled through. Madrid trail inside the first quarter.
18′ GOAL! RAUL GARCIA OPENS THINGS FOR ATHLETIC BILBAO! 1-0! It is a peach of a throughball from Dani Garcia and Madrid’s defence should really do better as the striker latches onto it and sweeps a cool finish past Courtois. Glorious stuff!
18′ Now Williams skews an attempted volley wide from the lip of the Madrid box. Bilbao are well in this contest.
17′ Ramos! The Madrid man has the best chance of the game so far, nudging a Kroos free-kick swung in off the right edge straight to the keeper with a headed finish.
15′ Kroos has more of a nibble at a Bilbao midfielder than he should and concedes the foul close to halfway. La Rosaleda Stadium must be on a flight path, the shouts on the pitch are being drowned out by the sound of jet turbines overhead.
13′ Hazard thinks he should have a penalty after a well-executed lob pass sees him felled by Nunez in his attempts to collect. The referee sees now issue and Madrid waste their resulting corner to boot.
11′ A third Madrid corner inside this opening passage now and Bilbao see it away industriously. This is shaping up to be a see-saw match; just what you’d hope for in a game of knockout football.
9′ Vazquez has to execute some heroics around his own box as Bilbao make an opportunity out of nothing thanks to a fantastic slide challenge and lob pass. Madrid mop up under pressure.
7′ Ramos is pinged for a sloppy challenge in midfield and Bilbao play their set-piece wide down the right flank rather than straight into the box. Their overlap has vision and proves just too heavy-footed.
5′ Bilbao withstand a first and then a second corner, before breaking down the opposite end. They fail to convert a chance and Madrid counter straight back, though Modric wastes the final shot.
3′ Early signs of promise for Bilbao give way to the first corner of the game for Madrid down the other end after Nunez is forced to stave off a promising set-play by Los Blancos.
1′ We are underway in this Supercopa de Espana clash between Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao!
The teams are out in Malaga and we’re moments away from kick-off.
These sides only met last month of course, when Madrid ran out 3-1 winners against 10-men Bilbao in La Liga. A repeat of that would suit Los Blancos just fine.
It’s obviously quite recent history for Madrid in this competition – but it wasn’t too long ago Bilbao picked up the Supercopa de Espana themselves. As 2015 Copa runners-up, they faced Barcelona following the latter’s domestic double and promptly trounced them 5-1 on aggregate later that year.
Subs: Jon Morcillo, Yeray Alvarez, Mikel Vesga, Ibai Gomez, Alejandro Berenguer Remiro, Jokin Ezkieta, Ingo Lekue, Oihan Sancet, Asier Villalibre.
ATHLETIC BILBAO (4-4-2): Unai Simon; Ander Capa, Unai Nunez, Inigo Martinez, Mikel Balenziaga; Oscar de Marcos, Dani Garcia, Unai Vencedor, Iker Muniain; Raul Garcia, Inaki Williams.
Subs: Eder Militao, Nacho, Marcelo Vieira, Andriy Lunin, Federico Valverde, Vinicius Junior, Martin Odegaard, Isco, Mariano.
REAL MADRID (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Lucas Vazquez, Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Ferland Mendy; Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Luka Modric; Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema, Eden Hazard.
The big news is that Madrid are unchanged from the side held by Osasuna over the weekend, with Zidane keeping the faith in his starting XI. Inaki Williams partners Raul Garcia in attack for Bilbao.
Sociedad were unable to make it two finals in the space of four months on Wednesday when they were edged in a penalty shootout by Barcelona, which means the Blaugrana await the winners. Both sides know there’s a lot on the table in here.
But between Zinedine Zidane and yet more silverware are 2020 Copa del Rey finalists Bilbao – who, in a weird quirk of pandemic-related fate, are yet to even play that match, with their tie against Real Sociedad in April. It’s been a strange 12 months.
It’s the second iteration of Spain’s super cup tournament as a four-team event, following on from last term’s maiden expansion – and it was Madrid who took home inaugural honours. Victory today takes them a match away from a repeat of such a feat.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2020-21 Supercopa de Espana, as holders Real Madrid look to seal a consecutive berth in the showpiece match against Athletic Bilbao at La Rosaleda Stadium in Malaga.