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.
Zidane, speaking post-match in comments carried by Marca, was intent on keeping a level head despite the disappointment.
“Our first half was difficult, we didn’t begin the game well. They scored with the two chances they had, and that’s difficult.
“We didn’t read the first half well. They pressed high and we lost balls that we normally wouldn’t. We ended up switching formation because we weren’t comfortable with Luka [Modric]‘s position.
“All you can do is keep working, try to rest well and think about the next game. You have to turn the page and keep working. We can’t go crazy now.”