It took two hours of scoreless football to decide the Supercopa de España final on Sunday night, but it was Real Madrid who once again edged their cross-town rivals Atletico in penalties 4-1. Here are three takeaways from the match.
Manager Zinedine Zidane did it once again. The French boss guided his team expertly to another title and made it nine wins in nine finals while in charge of Real Madrid.
Deploying five midfielders for the second consecutive match in Saudi Arabia, Real dominated possession throughout the 120 minutes of play, but it was Atletico Madrid who had the better of the chances.
Let’s jump into the three takeaways.
Thibaut the hero
Other than Fede Valverde, no other player on the Real Madrid squad deserves more credit than goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian has been in a form that is very rare to see nowadays and has helped Madridistas move on from Keylor Navas’ departure.
Courtois was tested frequently by the Atleti front line and made several point blank saves including a diving save on a Thomas Partey free kick at the beginning of extra time.
His six saves and a clean sheet earned him Man of the Match honors according to WhoScored, but many will argue that Fede was the best player on the pitch for Los Blancos.
The 27-year-old net-minder has given up just two goals in his last seven appearances and has relegated backup Alphonse Areola to nothing more than a bench warmer.
All that complaining about Courtois from the fans has vanished and there is no doubting why president Florentino Perez bought him from Chelsea just a year and a half ago. It was clear how much the Supercopa title meant to Thibaut during the penalty shootout as he celebrated a big save on Thomas Partey.
A job well done Mr. Courtois!