By Patric Ridge
Real Madrid won their 11th Supercopa de Espana title as Sergio Ramos tucked home the winning spot-kick to see off city rivals Atletico Madrid 4-1 in a penalty shootout after a dismal goalless draw.
With Atleti having failed to convert their opening two penalties, Madrid captain Ramos proved their nemesis again when he sent Jan Oblak the wrong way.
Federico Valverde and Alvaro Morata – against his former club – spurned the best opportunities of a dour 90 minutes at King Abdullah Sports City stadium on Sunday, though the quality did improve in extra-time.
However, a string of excellent saves from both goalkeepers, either side of Valverde’s late red card, forced penalties, with Saul Niguez and Thomas Partey missing from the spot.
Ramos kept his composure to take the title back to Santiago Bernabeu after Dani Carvajal, Rodrygo and Luka Modric also hit the target from 12 yards.
Despite a bright start in Jeddah in which Casemiro and Joao Felix both went close, the match failed to spark into life until after the restart when Luka Jovic flashed a low strike just wide.
Jovic was at the heart of a great chance soon after as his cross fell for Valverde in the six-yard box, only for the youngster to direct his header down onto his knee and out of play.
Morata, who rightly had claims for a penalty rejected in the first half, was guilty of similar profligacy with 10 minutes of normal time remaining, side-footing a tame effort straight at Thibaut Courtois after latching onto Kieran Trippier’s pass.
Courtois was called into action again in extra-time, keeping out Vitolo’s effort before making an instinctive save from a Morata volley.
Oblak had to make a double save to keep Madrid at bay at the other end, with Valverde then deservedly seeing red for a desperate professional foul on Morata and it took penalties to settle it after another two fine stops from Courtois.
But with Saul hitting the post and Courtois denying Partey, Ramos made no mistake to secure Madrid’s first Supercopa triumph since 2017.