Saturday, February 24, 2024

Real Madrid Dominate Barcelona In Riyadh Final As Vinicius Shines With Hat-Trick

Vinicius Junior orchestrated Real Madrid’s commanding 4-1 victory over 10-man Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final in Riyadh, securing a first-half hat-trick. 

The Brazilian exploited Barcelona’s lax high line twice within the first 10 minutes, putting Real 2-0 ahead. Robert Lewandowski narrowed the gap, but Vinicius completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot in the 39th minute. Rodrygo sealed the one-sided win after halftime.

Adding to Barcelona’s woes, Ronald Araujo was sent off in the 71st minute for another foul on Vinicius. Real Madrid, who triumphed over Atletico Madrid in a thrilling semi-final, continue to assert their dominance over their rivals. Carlo Ancelotti’s side previously won in October’s El Clasico and holds a seven-point lead over Barcelona in LaLiga at the halfway mark.

Barcelona, led by Xavi, aimed to retaliate, but their risky high defensive line backfired as Real took the lead after seven minutes. Jude Bellingham’s superb pass set up Vinicius to round Inaki Pena and score. Vinicius struck again as he converted Rodrygo’s cross with ample space left behind the defensive line.

Despite Ferran Torres’ attempt hitting the bar, and efforts from Torres and Lewandowski being saved, Barcelona couldn’t recover. Lewandowski’s powerful volley brought them back into contention, but Araujo’s foul on Vinicius led to a penalty, and Real restored their two-goal lead at halftime.

Xavi’s triple substitution after the hour mark failed to impact the game as Real extended their lead in the 64th minute. Vinicius’ cross was intercepted by Jules Kounde, landing at the feet of Rodrygo, who slotted the ball past Pena. Araujo’s second bookable offense compounded Barcelona’s misery, and Ancelotti withdrew Vinicius and Bellingham in the closing stages, with focus shifting to the upcoming Copa del Rey showdown against Atletico on Wednesday.

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