The Supercopa de Espana is historically undervalued by La Liga‘s elite, but in this strangest of seasons the competition has taken on a whole new significance.
The Supercopa offers a great chance for Barcelona and Real Madrid, in difficult moments with bruised egos, to get their hands on the first piece of silverware available to them this season and set themselves up nicely for the second part of the campaign.
The Blaugrana held up their end of the bargain, edging past Real Sociedad last night in Cordoba. Madrid looked to do the same tonight at La Rosaleda, where they also faced Basque opposition in Athletic Bilbao.
They couldn’t, however, mirror their Catalan rivals and set up a Clasico final. Athletic went into the break two goals to the good thanks to a Raul Garcia brace, and despite pulling one back through Karim Benzema and having an equaliser (also Benzema) disallowed Los Blancos were beaten 2-1.
Zinedine Zidane‘s men will now return to Madrid empty-handed while Marcelino, freshly appointed at San Mames, will prepare his charges to face Barcelona in the final on Sunday.
Madrid’s Marco Asensio, who hit the post a remarkable three times, was somewhat understandably disheartened post-game in comments carried by Marca.
“They started very well and it was difficult for us at the beginning,” Asensio said. “In the end we were second-best, although we had them at the and. We’re sad and angry, but this is football and we have to continue.
“They have turned out very well and it was difficult for us at the beginning. In the end we were in tow, although we had them at the end. We are sad and angry, but this is football and we have to continue”